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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

DIY: Cooking dried black beans

If you've been reading this blog for a long time, you know, we eat a lot of beans -- white, black, kidney. Beans are a great substitute for meat as they're pretty protein rich and filling. I have always bought beans in the cans -- cans which could contain BPA. Since we're a family slowing going green, it was time to make the switch.

Did you know that buying 1 lb of dried beans and cooking your own yields six servings of beans versus the cost of one can? Also cooking your own dried beans lets your control the sodium too! I was inspired by one of my favorite green and frugal bloggers Sara Tetreault after reading her post to further investigate how to eat more beans and save money by cooking and freezing my own.

I didn't want to labor over the stove all day so I searched and searched for an easy method -- and I found it in using a crock pot from Crockpot365.

So what do you do? You'll need:
1 pound bag of beans (please note her special instructions on kidney beans)
at least a 4 quart crockpot
food scale (for weighing them into 15 oz containers)
containers (I needed 5)
Enough time to soak overnight, plus 8 hours

Here's what you need to do:
Rinse beans and pick out the bad ones. Put beans in the crockpot and cover with all the beans, adding 2 inches of water over the beans. Don't turn it on and let the beans soak overnight.  In the morning, rinse the beans and dump the water.

Put the beans back into your crockpot and cover with enough water to  cover the beans with 3 inches. Then cook on low for 8 hours until they are tender. It's OK if you have leftover water --dump it and drain the beans.

Cool them off and then use your food scale to weigh 15 ounces in each container. They will last a week in the refrigerator or six months in the freezer

I have now done this with white and black beans AND I will never buy another can of beans AGAIN. It was that easy.

What's your favorite bean dish?

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