When it comes to frugality and health, choosing dried beans over canned is a smart choice. They can seem intimidating if you aren't used to working with them though, so today you are getting a tutorial on how to cook dried beans.
I batch cooked a two pound bag of beans, which yielded me about 12 cups of cooked beans. A can of dried beans is about 1.5 cups, so I was able to freeze eight bags of ready to eat beans for future use, which saves major time and money. It took only a few minutes of hands on time, and I now have eight bags of ready to eat beans that I can use on a busy night.
Preparing beans is easy, but important for proper digestion and cooking. If beans sit hard on your stomach or cause digestive distress, try a long soak and see if that helps. Canned beans are not soaked, often contain additives, and can cause tummy problems. Give dry beans a try!
Rinse your beans, sort through them to make sure there is no debris.
Pour them in a bowl or pot and cover them with WARM water about 2 inches above your beans.
Add 1 T of your acidic medium of choice (apple cider vinegar, liquid whey, lemon juice) per 1 cup of beans and stir.
Cover and let stand at room temperature for 18-24 hours. You can soak them a less amount of time, but they will benefit from a longer soaking time.
Cooking dry beans
After the elapsed time, drain and rinse the beans.
Put them in a pot with water covering the beans about 1-2 inches.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and gently cook for about 2 hours or until beans are tender but not mushy. It may take longer or shorter depending on your bean and how high you are cooking them.
Instant Pot instructions: Cover beans with 1-2 inches of water and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.
Note: If using the Instant Pot or slow cooker method, you may skip the soaking step if you forget.
Freezing cooked beans
Let beans cool before adding them to the freezer bags.
Label your bags with the contents, date and portion size if desired.
Fill your bags with 1.5 cups of beans, which is equivalent to one can of beans.
Push all the air out of your bags.
Lay your bags flat and freeze.
How to use frozen cooked beans
You can use your frozen cooked beans in any dish that calls for beans. Just thaw them and they are ready to go. Do not put them back in a slow cooker though for a soup or they will turn to mush. Add them at the end of cooking.
Try one of these ideas.