I popped open jars of chicken and black beans that I canned last week to make some burritos for dinner today, to test how these products came out. We had a head-to-head taste test of Emma's favorite commercially canned black beans and my home canned version.
I'm happy to say that both the chicken and black beans were a total success!
The beans look exactly like
commercially canned beans. They're fully rehydrated and tender, but not mushy, and have great flavor. In our blind taste test, Emma couldn't tell the difference between the two types of beans, except that she did say the home canned version was a little more creamy. I thought the home version tasted better, with a slightly softer texture and without the very slight metallic taste.
The chicken wasn't mushy at all, which was my main concern. It's firm and has good flavor, with none of the metallic, weird taste that commercially canned chicken (in metal cans) has. I don't like commercially canned chicken at all, but this home-canned version is quite good and tastes like chicken. It's somewhat "brittle" and flaked apart easily, so it's not the same as fresh-cooked. But it will definitely work great for soup, burritos, chicken salad, etc., which is
exactly what I was hoping.
Best of all, I know that there's no extra salt or anything in the jars- just chicken and beans. I will definitely be canning both these again. Yay!
My bean and chicken burrito was delicious, seasoned with ground coriander seeds (from the garden!), cumin, turmeric, and smidge of cayenne, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt, fresh parsley, and a tiny garden tomato. Yum. I was going to take a picture, but I forgot... it was too yummy. Sorry.
Here's my harvest from today- the first two yellow peppers, some parsley, and a tiny tomato. All gone now. Pretty yummy.
The tomatoes are finally starting to ripen quicker, hooray! Not too much longer before I have a nice little pile of Amish Paste tomatoes!
In other canning news, I put up some pickled cabbage and carrot slaw yesterday, from this recipe (halved because I only had one four-pound cabbage). With home-grown onion and orange peppers!
It's not sauerkraut, since it isn't fermented, but just a straight pickle. It's sweet/sour and crunchy, and I flavored mine with celery seed and caraway seed, since I didn't have the mustard seed the recipe called for. I had the little bit that was left over in a pastrami and swiss sandwich for lunch yesterday, and it was really, really good.
I also did up some cucumber dill pickles a couple days ago. I had five smallish cucumbers, and since there was only enough for a single jar I did a refrigerator pickle. The jar was originally full, but we've been munching on them. Yum!