I cooked dried beans in the slow cooker! Ask me how!

Well you don’t really have to ask me how.  That’s the point of this post.  I’m not only going to tell you how to do it, but I’m going to give you a little info about why you should.  Boom.  It’s like two posts in one.  One where I’m all helpful and out to teach you something that’s going to save you money.  Another one where I’m all super bossy and up on my proverbial soapbox, because seriously…does soap even come in boxes anymore, or are those just something that we can find at Pottery Barn?  “My living room will SO not be complete if I don’t get the PB Soapbox to put in the corner, but if you think yours is going to be OK without it, then you’re probably right.”  **insert disapproving look and shaking of the head here**

Yeah…so…fun with dried beans.

You are all very aware of my legume obsession.  I have not made any attempt to hide it from you.  The worst part about this obsession, however, is the sheer number of cans that come through my house and out into the recycling pile in any given week.  Disgraceful.  Not only disgraceful because although I’m recycling that metal still took a lot of resources to make, but also because there are some pretty nefarious things that can be found in cans.  BPA is the big one, and although I am FAR from an expert on cans and BPA it is still something that concerns me.  BPA can leech from the cans into the food within.  Yuck.  I also decided to embark on this adventure because it is in my interests financially to make my own beans.  If you only eat them every so often, then this may not be for you.  If you are like me and you find yourself spending half of your Trader Joe’s bill each week on canned beans, then you’ve come to the right place.  All right.  I think that’s enough with the crazy.  The process that follows is SUPER simple and really easy.

Cooking Dried Beans in the Slow Cooker

from A Year of Slow Cooking 

Ingredients:

*16oz (by weight) dried beans (so far I’ve used garbanzo and white)

*Water

*Yes…that’s it!

To Make:

*Pick through the dried beans and get rid of any that are broken in half or that look gross.

*Put the beans in a large bowl and cover (+ 2 inches)  with water.

*Soak overnight, or at least 6 hours.

*Dump the water from your beans and move them to your slow cooker (at least a 4qt cooker).

*Add enough water to the slow cooker to cover (+ 2 inches) the beans.

*Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. (the chickpeas were perfect at 8 hours, but the white beans were ready at 7.5.  Get to know your cooker and see what really works for you.)

*Drain the beans and let them cool.

*When they’ve cooled, add about 1 2/3 cups to plastic freezer bags. (This is the right amount for a can of beans)

*Store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer (flat for more convenient storage)  for 6 months.

 

Survey Says:

This is just awesome.  You all know how much I love (and depend on) beans, so to finally have a super easy way to deal with them myself is liberating!  I think I’ve always been afraid of overcooking them or having to spend hours monitoring them on the stove, but the slow cooker eliminates both of those problems.  Use them as you would any canned beans!!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa on December 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I’m a big legume eater too, and I love having beans in the freezer ready to use. I cook mine in the pressure cooker. Only once in a while will I buy canned beans. It’s a money saver alright… unless you add in the cost of my full size freezer and utility bill. 🙂

    Reply

  2. It’s going to be good for me too because I don’t plan meals a week in advance. I’m still trying to decide what we’re going to have tonight. So soaking the beans the night before using them just doesn’t work for me, but having them ready to go at a moment’s notice definitely does. I’m also looking forward to not having to rinse them! I HATE rinsing canned beans.

    Reply

  3. Posted by celine perreard-allen on January 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Stef,
    we tried them finally yesterday with black beans: there cooked to perfection after 8 1/2 hours! the no salt makes them take like… beans and that’s it!
    we had beans and rice with cheese last night and it taste amazing: it seems like I had never had real beans before!!!!!! can’t wait to do wit more beans!
    merci!

    Reply

  4. Awesome! I love cooking vegetarian pinto beans in the slow cooker and just froze 6 (2 cup) portions of them last night! I usually use 3 cups of beans, 1/2 an onion, 1/2 a jalapeno, a couple cloves of garlic and 6 cups water. Drain off most of the extra water when they’re done (after about 6-8 hours) and then put the beans in the food processor. Yum! I’ve also done chickpeas in there too. Now I’m anxious to try white beans and red kidney beans in there!

    Reply

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