I have always used canned beans. I think mainly for the convenience of them. It is so much easier to open a can then it is to soak beans overnight and then cook them for several hours. Plus, even canned beans are not the expensive.
If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I am trying to reduce the amount of packaged and processed items that we eat. I know that beans are not nearly as processed as most food we eat, but I realized this was an area I could avoid processed foods. Plus, canned beans usually contain a lot of salt. So, I thought avoiding them would be a good idea.
So, I have been cooking up a lot of dried beans. We eat mainly red and black beans, so that is what I have been cooking. I soak two pounds of beans overnight. Then in the morning I put them in the crock pot and cover with water. I cook them for six to eight hours or until they are done. I drain them, let them cool, and place them in containers or Ziploc bags to freeze. I freeze them in both two and four cup packages. Most cans of beans equal about 1 1/2 to 2 cups, so those amounts work for most of my recipes. Plus, when you are cooking with beans you do not have to be exact.
Yes, this takes more work then opening a can. I have to think ahead, not only to cook the beans, but to defrost them when I need them. What I have discovered though is how much cheaper dried beans are. You can buy a pound of beans for about the same price as one can. It really does save money.
So, not only are they healthier, they are cheaper, and I think dried beans taste better. For more frugal ideas see Biblicalwomanhood.
A quick & easy way to plump up dried beans is to use the pressure cooker. It usually takes about 30 minutes.
I like the idea of freezer bags of beans as well.
I have heard that about the pressure cooker and cooking beans. But I don’t have a pressure cooker. Maybe I will have to put one on my wish list. 🙂
Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot)
I buy organic beans in bulk!
I have been thinking of this too. There just arent very many beans in a jar of beans…lol
Thanks for posting.
I tried that once and they didn’t turn out for me. I must not have cooked them long enough.
I am also making the switch from canned to dried, so this post is very helpful. Thanks.
Do you add anything to the beans while your cooking them? I would like to try this but have always used can so it’s very new to me 🙂
@Jennie Gift, I don’t usually season them or anything b/c then I can use them for anything I want. But if you are going to use them for only mexican or something like that, then go ahead and season them however you want when cooking them.
I soak mine in the slowcooker and then cook them in it… works great .. and i don’t need to keep a constant eye on them
I spread my cooked beans on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and freeze them that way. Then just take a metal spatula or something to break them up a bit and put them in a ziplock. I like it that way since I don’t have to measure them out all at once and just use what I need for a recipe. Also, I’ve heard if you add a pinch of baking soda to the water it will help cook the beans faster. I also use the crockpot, but haven’t tried the baking soda yet. I agree, it’s just one more way to avoid extra cost by making your own and another convenience food that’s not needed. Love your website!