Thursday, October 14, 2010

Say Buh-Bye To Canned Beans

I just discovered a simple method to cook dried beans, making over salted, lackluster tasting, BPA containing canned beans obsolete! As an added plus, in buying dried beans, namely pintos, you'll be helping family farmers like my friend in Colorado.

As long as you have a crock pot, it will be completely easy for you too, to have wholesome, flavourful beans ready anytime and no further than your freezer! However, it does take some planning.

And since it is such a simple process, i am going to keep this post simple. No pictures. No fluff. Just facts.

Steps for cooking dried beans:

1. The Soak: Place 1 pound of beans in the crock, covered about an inch or two above top with water.
  • Large, thick skinned beans (e.g. runner, lima, or fava) soak 12 hours
  • Garbanzos or whole peas soak 10 hours
  • Medium beans (black, kidney, pinto) soak 6 - 8 hours
  • Small, thick skinned beans (azuki, mung) soak 8 hours
  • Small, thin skinned beans soak 4 hours.

Take precautions during hot, humid weather, either changing the water once or twice during soak times or place crock in fridge overnight.

2. Pull The Plug: Drain and Rinse Beans

( More special precautions: if cooking red beans, boil for ten minutes in fresh water on the stove top for at least 10 minutes to dissipate toxins contained within the bean. It's something regarding a natural occuring chemical in the bean that makes a human sick. Even NASA has funded research on the subject.)

3. Repeat. Place soaked beans back in the crock, cover with fresh water and cook on low for 8 hours* (* or till bite tender.)

At this point is where i diverged from the beaten path. Add fresh or dried herbs. Add garlic or ginger. Add anything your little heart desires to make these beans palatable and sought after!

4. Salt. Add this at toward the end of the cooking time. Or not.

5. Drain and Chill!

After they are done, it's time to drain the cooking liquid and cool your beans. Once cooled, they can be packaged in containers and frozen for up to 6 MONTHS!! Yippee! I find packing them in a pint glass jar provides the closest quanity to a canned equivalent.

Should you come from a family that consumes beans in *large* quantities (bless your heart), then the pot of these in the fridge will last 2 weeks.

To see more ideas regarding making your life simpler, visit Simple Lives Thursday. Every Thursday.


  1. Excellent! And so inexpensive too. Thanks for sharing with us this Thursday.
    xo, Sustainable Eats

  2. What toxins are in red beans??? The last 4 times I ate red beans, I threw up and threw up...even ending up in the emergency room 2 of the times. I avoid them, but maybe this is why I had the reaction to them.

  3. I slow cook beans regularly too - thanks for posting this summary of how to do it. I'll make good use of the guidelines for soaking times... that part always trips me up!


Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!