Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cooking Dried Beans in 3 Easy Steps

This information has changed my life. 

Not even kidding. 

I had always shied away from buying dried beans in the past. All the soaking and hours of cooking on the stove just wasn't something I had the time or patience for. 

But then I came across a wonderful blog post by the Cheapskate Cook on the Convenience of Canned Beans--Without the Can or Additives.

And there it was. My life would never be the same again. 

I'll share with you the simplified version...

Cooking Dried Beans in 3 Easy Steps:
1. Place dried beans and water in a crock pot (in a 1:2 ratio--1 cup of beans for every 2 cups of water)

2. Turn on crock pot. 

3. Walk away. 

I know--you're blown away. Don't you love the simplicity?! 

Not to mention the health benefits of avoiding additives & preservatives typically found in canned beans. 

AND the financial benefits of buying dried beans in bulk versus canned beans. 

I ended up with the equivalent of at least 5 cans of black beans (only 4 are pictured below) for a whopping $2.62. When you consider that a can of organic beans costs around $1 each (or more), I ended up saving almost half what I would normally spend!

That's a pretty darn significant savings.

When they are finished cooking (6-8 hours on low, 4-5 hours on high), I like to portion them into containers using a slotted spoon (I peel the labels off my almond butter and spaghetti sauce jars to be used for events just like this). 

You can stick them in the freezer if you don't see yourself using them in the next couple of weeks. 

But when there are so many delicious ways to cook with beans, I'm not sure you will have any problem with that. 

I add beans to my chili, or I toss them with some brown rice pasta, sauteed onions & peppers, and red sauce. 

I also include them in quinoa salads like these from Karina at Gluten Free Goddess or Erin at Erin's Food Files

And at the request of my seemingly-always-hungry husband, I make large quantities of homemade hummus!

What are your favorite ways to eat beans? 

This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday

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