Beans, as most of us know, are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates. Beans are low-fat, nutrient-dense food, making them a great addition to any diet. They are also inexpensive and versatile.
Canned beans tend to be mushy and lacking in flavor. They are also loaded with preservatives.
Dried beans are much cheaper than canned beans. However, I know cooking dried beans can be a little challenging, especially if you did not grow up using dried beans. They are totally worth the effort!
Not only will using dried beans save you money and taste better, you also get to control the flavor of the beans.
They are many methods for soaking and cooking dried beans. I prefer to use my Crock-pot so that I do not have to “babysit” the beans all day while they cook.
Soaking beans reduces the indigestible sugars that are naturally present in the beans. These sugars are what cause gas. You can do a quick soak but a long soak removes more of the gas-causing sugars. I have never used the quick soak method. I only use the long soak method.
I always prepare a whole bag at a time because the beans can be frozen for up to 6 months. I find that by preparing a large batch I always have the beans available when I need them for a recipe and I do not have to go buy canned beans.
How To Prepare Dry Beans:
- Empty a 1 pound bag of beans onto a cookie sheet and sort through it. Make sure you remove any tiny pebbles or other debris
- Soak the beans in a large bowl covered with 2-3 inches of water for 12 hours or overnight
- Pick out any floating beans (if they are floating it means they didn’t absorb the water and something is wrong with them)
- Drain and rinse
- Place in Crock-pot with 10 cups of water or chicken stock
- Season as desired, I usually add 1 chopped onion, a couple cloves of garlic and 1 bay leaf
- Cook on low for 8-12 hours or until done (beans are done when they can easily be squished between your fingers
Store cooked beans in the refrigerator for a few days or for up to 6 months in the freezer.
I freeze my beans in freezer safe bags with 2 cups of beans per bag. 2 cups of prepared cooked beans equals one 15.5 ounce can of beans.
If you do not want to prepare a whole bag at one time here is a handy conversion chart I found on whatscookingamerica.net.
Dry Beans Conversion scale
1/3 c dry beans = 1 c cooked
1/2 c dry beans = 1 1/2 c cooked
2/3 c dry beans = 2 c cooked
1 c dry beans = 3 c cooked
2 c dry beans = 6 c cooked
Now that you know how to prepare dried beans you can start enjoying all the benefits, like saving money!
How do you prepare your dried beans?
Have a blessed day!
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