Beans! The bush beans were ready to pick! Joel and I went out to the garden and picked all those that looked big enough. I planted the Blue Lake variety, which are a tasty string bean. We have some pole, or runner beans as well, but they are still flowering yet.
Here are some of the beautiful flowers close-up. The first is Trionfo Violetto, a gorgeous purple flower which turns into a gorgeous purple pod. The bean turns green when cooked, however.
Next is the Painted Lady runner bean. I love these flowers because they are red, pink, and white.
The third type of runner bean we have is the Scarlet Runner. They are a striking red-scarlet color that stands out beautifully against the green foliage.
My Blue Lake Bush Beans seem kind of boring-looking now, don’t they? Well, the beans themselves are always exciting to me! And their humble little flowers are nice in their own way – just not flashy like their climbing cousins! Oh, and just an FYI, the leaves at the bottom-left of the photo are part of my potato plants.
We were able to harvest 2 full pounds of beans at once, which was enough to make a little over 4 pints of the Spiced Pickled Dilly Beans. I couldn’t find quite the perfect recipe, so I combined a couple of ideas to create my own. The result is scrumptious.
If unfamiliar with canning, please refer to “Complete Guide to Home Canning,” which is available from the USDA. It is Agriculture Bulletin No. 539, revised 2015. Must-read sections include: “Using Boiling Water Canners,” and “Principles of Home Canning.” This link will take you to a downloadable adobe document of this guide.
Start with your fresh beans. When canning, it is always best to pick your produce right before you use it. Sort the beans and take out the blemished or sad looking ones. Make sure you have your supplies clean and ready. Your jars should be sterilized and kept hot. I leave them in the hot water until I’m ready to use them.
Assemble all your other ingredients. I like to get the water boiling in the canner since that can take awhile. Then grab your bucket or sack, and it’s off to the garden! Here is our bounty.
Rinse and Trim
Now it’s time to rinse your beans well. Trim both ends and make sure they will fit into your jars. Use a knife or scissors for clean cuts. I keep an extra clean jar on hand to test the trimmed bean sizes, if needed.
These beans had blemishes, so they didn’t make the “cut.” (Pun intended)
Spiced Pickled Dilly Beans
Now that the beans are ready, your canner should have water that is almost boiling. You will need to put a whole garlic clove into the bottom of each sterilized jar.
Next, add the raw beans to the jars. Try to stand them upright, and leave an approximate 1/2-inch headspace. Trim them a little more if they are sticking up too high.
Now make the “pickle juice.” To a saucepan, add 1/4 Cup pickling salt.
Canning and pickling salt
Add 2 Cups distilled, white vinegar at 5% acidity.
To that add 2 Cups water. Finally, add the rest of the seasonings: 1 Tablespoon dried dill weed, 1/2 teaspoon red hot pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper. If you prefer to use fresh dill weed, triple the amount.
Bring the mixture in the saucepan to a boil, then ladle the hot liquid into the jars over the beans. Make sure you leave about 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth. Top with seals and lids, then process as per the canning guide mentioned above. I processed mine for 10 minutes, as The Mountain Farmhouse is at an altitude of 1,800 feet. If your altitude is 1,000 feet or less, process 5 minutes. Above 6,000 feet, process 15 minutes.
Note – If you prefer less spice, adjust the seasoning according to your taste. Be sure to keep the salt the same, though.
A delicious pickled green bean recipe that is loaded with dill and has a spicy kick!
- 2 lbs. Fresh green beans
- 4-5 cloves Garlic
- 1/4 Cup Pickling salt
- 2 Cups White Vinegar
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Tablespoon Dried dill weed
- 1/2 teaspoon Red hot pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Wash beans thoroughly.
Trim both ends from beans with knife or scissors. Make clean cuts. Make sure they are the right size for your pint-sized jars when standing up on end.
Place one whole, peeled clove garlic in the bottom of each jar.
Place beans in the jars standing vertically. Pack them in nicely, leaving 1/2-inch at the top for headspace.
In a saucepan, combine salt, vinegar, water, dill weed, red hot pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil.
Ladle hot liquid from saucepan into the bean jars. Wipe jar rims clean. Add sterilized seals and lids. Process in water bath canner 10 minutes for altitudes between 1,000 and 6,000 feet. Below 1,000 feet - 5 minutes. Above 6,000 feet - 15 minutes.
Be sure to label them!
Add the date, too!
How do you grow your beans?
Growing beans and canning them can be a great source of nutrition as well as enjoyment. There is nothing like delicious, fresh legumes. That said, canning them in this special way ensures that the enjoyment time frame can extend into the colder months of the year. How lovely to have the spicy heat of this yummy treat when the temperatures drop!
In my experience, these awesome plants are not hard to grow. Most years, I simply stick the seeds in the ground. For the bush beans, that’s about it. For the runner beans, I give them something to climb. This year, I experimented with using an organic inoculant, but I have not found anything to be significantly different from previous years’ bean-plant behavior. I recommend testing your own soil and researching inoculants before planting.
Do you like spicy foods? These are so good! They are great on a relish tray or as a complement to milder-tasting foods. Enjoy!