Canning beans with seaweed

Asked May 18, 2020, 8:37 AM EDT

Good Day, This is the recipe I use for canning pintos, navy, kidney and black beans. Cover beans well with cold water and let stand overnight. Drain. Cover beans by at least 2 inches in large pot and bring to a boil. Boil 30 minutes, stirring as needed. Pack hot beans into hot jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Add ½ tsp. salt to pints and 1 tsp. to quarts, if desired. Ladle boiling cooking liquid over beans, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim of jar clean; place hot, previously-simmered lid on jar, and screw down ring firmly tight. Process pints 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure in a pressure canner. My question is I’ve read, Kombu is a kind of sea cabbage, otherwise known as seaweed. It is a natural flavor enhancer that offers huge health benefits for its tiny size. Sea vegetables are one of the most abundant food families on Earth, yet they are surprisingly underused in American cuisine. Kombu is known for reducing blood cholesterol and hypertension. It is high in iodine, which is essential for thyroid functioning; iron, which helps carry oxygen to the cells; calcium, which builds bones and teeth; as well as vitamins A and C, which support eyes and immunity, respectively. Kombu has an almost magical ability to render beans more digestible and less gas-producing. But it isn’t magic: Kombu contains enzymes that help break down the raffinose sugars in beans, which are the gas-producing culprits. Once they are broken down, we are able to absorb more of the nutrients, and we can enjoy these legumes without as many intestinal complaints If I added this to my beans during the 30 minute cooking time would I have to increase my canning time, or should I not can with this and use it when I heat the beans up? Thank you for your time and help Joyce

Coos County Oregon

1 Response

Great question. The easy (stock) answer is that we don’t have a validated process for a combination of Kombu and beans. Therefore, the easiest thing would be to add it to your canned beans when you are reheating them before your meal.

There are some other benefits to this approach. The canning process is likely to reduce levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin C by at least 20% and the canning process would also likely inactivate the enzymes that would breakdown the raffinose.

Another option could be to soak the beans with the kombu and then remove it before boiling the beans.

Hope this helps! Best of luck!