Cooking Dried Beans In Your Crockpot

Reasons to cook your own beans:

* super easy to do

* no sodium or other unnecessary ingredients added

* long presoaking helps to make them more digestable then canned beans

* avoid BPA which is found lining many cans on the market

* making your own saves you money. One 16 ounce bag of dried beans is equal to 3 cans of beans (15 ounce each)

* did I mention they are super easy to make

Super Easy Crockpot Beans

bag of dried beans

crockpot

water

Open your bag of dried beans and quickly sort through it to remove any rocks, broken beans or debris you may find. If you haven’t worked with dried beans before you might be surprised at what you find in the bag. Here’s what I pulled out of this bag:

Here’s what I removed from my bag of black beans:

A few broken beans and some tiny rocks. The beans are sorted by machines so it’s normal to find small things in the bag. Just toss them out and then place the beans in a colander. Rinse them under cold water. Stick the beans into the crock pot and add enough water to cover the beans. Add more water until it is about 2 inches above the beans. Set the crock aside (do NOT turn on the heat), cover and allow the beans to soak overnight or at least 8 to 12 hours. Soaking the beans allows the gas producing sugars to begin breaking down. This makes them more digestable.

In the morning your beans will have plumped up a bit. The soaking water will have become slightly colored based on the color of the bean you are soaking. Here’s some chickpeas soaking. Once soaked the water may have taken on a light color. When I soak black beans the water turns blackish. This is normal.

 

Pour the beans back into the colander and rinse them off. Toss them back into the crock and add more water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Cover and set the heat to low. Cook for approximately 7 to 8 hours. The beans should be bite tender not mushy. Don’t worry if the water is not absorbed.

Drain the beans. I usually run cold water over them while they are in the colander. Allow the water to drain off. Your beans are now ready to use in a recipe.

 

One 15 ounce can of beans is equal to about 1 2/3 to 1 3/4 cups of cooked beans.

FREEZER TIP: I usually measure out what I need for a recipe and then bag the rest up in freezer bags. Don’t forget to put the name and the month/year on your bag. It’s easy to forget when they were made. Your beans can be frozen for up to 6 months. To use them allow them to thaw out or, if your making soup, add them right into the pot.

When I make crockpot beans I use 2 to 3 bags if we use a particular type of bean frequently such as black or pinto beans. Other beans, such as chickpeas and kidney beans,  I make 1 to 2 bags at a time. After all, if your going to cook one bag you might as well cook two. It saves you time down the road.

 

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