I've been wanting to try cooking beans from their dry state for a long time.
This obviously isn't something new to most people, but it was uncharted territory for me. I wasn't much of a bean eater as a child and my mother never cooked beans from dry. But the past few years, I have discovered there are lots of different types of beans available and they can be quite tasty. Well, not real tasty by themselves, but I use them in lots of different dishes now.
I have one chili recipe that I double when I make it and it seems like I'm using 246 cans of beans in that one recipe!! If you don't have a stockpile of canned beans that you got for really, really cheap - this can get to be quite expensive.
Therefore, this summer was my summer to try cooking beans from scratch. I had heard of people cooking beans in their crockpot, and since I LOVE using my crockpots, I knew this was the way to go. Can I just say: Too. Easy.
Here's how I did it:
- Buy the bag of dry beans that looks like a bag of little dry rocks.
- Open bag and sort through the beans, discarding any broken or shriveled beans. Also discard any other bits of real rock, etc.
- Rinse well and put in crock pot.
- Fill with water to cover beans by approximately two inches.
- Put in refrigerator overnight. (Some say you can leave it out if it is not too hot, but I didn't want to take a chance.
- The next morning, take out beans from fridge and drain and rinse. They will be almost twice their original size.
- Fill again with two inches of water.
- Cook on low until beans are fork tender. (Be careful not to overcook unless you plan on mashing them.)
- Once cooked, I divided them up into freezer baggies and froze them flat. I put about 1 3/4 cups in each bag to be equivalent to one can of beans.
I have so far cooked up black beans, white beans, and pinto beans. Lima beans will not cross my threshold. I started with the small bags in the store, but next time I will buy the larger bags for greater savings.
Making beans this way is not only cheaper, it makes me feel like I am giving my family a fresher product.
Here's where you tell me that this is old news and that EVERYONE knows how to cook beans in their crockpot! Oh well, everyone but me, but now I know how too!