Our family eats a fair amount of beans these days because we have cut back on meat, since we are doing organic and it is a little pricier. A low cost option are beans and legumes. So, in order to cut my costs and keep them as healthy as possible, I like to make my own in the crockpot.
They are really pretty easy. You just do the following and and once they are done, you can freeze them in 1 cup portions to use for soups, nachos or stews. Just sit the freezer bag into a sink of cold water and they will unthaw in about an hour.
How to Prepare Dried Beans
- Pour beans into a strainer and rinse under cold water. Remove any shells, rotten or shriveled beans, and any that have split in half.
- Soak beans overnight or 5-8 hours. ( I actually soak mine from 6am-11am, then cook them in the slow cooker on high.)
- Pour out water and rinse beans.
- Place beans into slow cooker or stockpot, and cover with water, about 2 inches above beans. Add flavorings like garlic, diced onions, carrots, celery, seasonings or any vegetables to add flavor.*Slow Cooker: Cook on medium or low for 6-8 hours. Salt and pepper to taste before serving.
**Quick Method – Cook on high for 4 hours and low for 1 hour.
*Stock Pot: Cook on the stove for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes to prevent sticking. Add water as needed if it cooks down too much.
- Cool, drain and place one cup portions of beans into quart freezer bags, seal and place all quart bags into one large gallon bag. Lay flat and freeze like a book.
- You can use these just like canned beans in any recipe.
To thaw and eat:
Place freezer bag into a sink of cold water for about an hour. Heat and add flavorings depending on your recipe.
Try out my Northern Beans recipe to get you started.