Kick the Can and Cook the Beans

Kick the Can and Cook the Beans

Each week, I usually cook about 2-3 pounds of dried beans. This is the equivalent to about 15 cans of beans a week – keep in mind – we’re a family of 4 with adult sized appetites – and we eat 99% of our meals at home. Whether we eat cooked beans for breakfast, lunch, dinner or after school snacking, they taste great, they’re healthy, and they’re inexpensive.

I like to feed my family beans that I’ve soaked and cooked rather than canned because the cost is so much less and there’s nothing to throw away or recycle. When I cook the beans myself, I know my family is eating food that’s low in sodium and preservative free.

Kick the can and cook the beans!

Kick the Can and Cook the Beans

Why….

  • Beans are so versatile. Add cooked beans to: soups, pasta, dips, burritos, eggs.
  • Make hummus with beans or use them as a substitute for more fattening foods like mayonnaise.
  • Cooking with dried beans adds fiber and protein to a meal – without adding fat. They’re also gluten free.
  • Dried beans are very inexpensive. Dried beans usually cost about a $1/pound and if you buy a 25-pound bag you’ll save even more money – you’ll also get a workout!

How…

  • Buying a can of beans is definitely better than buying a processed frozen burrito, but make sure to check the ingredients. Canned beans can have sugar, preservatives, calcium chloride, calcium disodium, and color protectors – basically a bunch of junk – read the ingredients.
  • When buying dried beans, you can purchase them by the pound bag or in the bulk food section. Be sure and check the price per pound to make sure you’re getting the best price.
  • Pour the dried beans into a large pot or slow-cooker and cover them with 2-3 inches of cold water to soak.
  • Dried beans need to soak for a couple of hours before cooking. If I’m cooking dried beans in the morning, I soak the beans overnight and turn on my slow-cooker in the morning. After a busy day, I’ve got an easy dinner when our dried beans have been cooking all day.
  • Dried beans can be cooked in a slow-cooker, a pressure cooker, or on the stove top. They all produce the same result but length of cooking time will vary. Using a pressure cooker is the fastest, followed by stove top and lastly, slow-cooker.
  • Cooking dried beans in a slow-cooker that automatically shuts off means I don’t have to be home to tend the stove.
  • When cooking dried beans, I always make a large batch, use what I need, and freeze the rest in sizes that are right for my family to use.
  • When recipes call for a “can of beans” the dried beans that have been cooked equivalent is about 1 ½ to 1 2/3 cups.

Here’s a video of how to cook beans. Don’t forget ~ you can subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Cooking dried beans couldn’t be easier – especially if done in a slow-cooker. Whether beans are eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or after school snacking, they taste great, they’re healthy, and they’re inexpensive. They can give you a workout in the kitchen, too!

What’s your preferred method for cooking beans?

Go Gingham related links:

Why I cook with dried beans – complete with money saving chart!
Very easy and tasty white bean dip
Why the “can” is bad in canned beans
Vegetarian chili made with dried beans – of course!
Corn and black bean salad – made with dried beans
Spicy hummus – yes, spicy and made from dried beans!

 

10 thoughts on “Kick the Can and Cook the Beans

  1. Great video, Sara! I love what you are doing and how you explain things in such simple terms. You have so much to share. Thanks for the “how to” on working with dried beans – it makes a lot of sense the way you explain it!

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  2. Great thank you! Can you refer to some specific recipes including beans? I could use a little help preapring the beans I’ve cooked 🙂

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    1. Hi Shaunna,
      Here are all of my recipes: https://gogingham.com/tag/recipes/
      and you can also check my Pinterest page – I have a board titled ‘beans’ – of course I do!

      There are lots of cookbooks to check out from the library, too.
      As soon as you start adding them to pastas and soups – or making hummus – you’ll be adding them to more dishes. Enjoy! 🙂

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    1. Hi Bobbi! Do you have a Costco nearby? They have 25lb bag – well, mine does. Also, try at restaurant supply stores. They always have big bags of beans. Hmmmmm…..ask at your grocery store to see if they’ll special order a bag. Many will do that. Good luck!! 🙂

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  3. I wish I were as disciplined, organized and resourceful as you are. I’ve gotten as far as the meal planing, but cooking my own beans is still looming. Perhaps one day soon.

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    1. Come over! I’m getting ready to soak some right now for cooking tomorrow. I’ve tried cooking them overnight but honestly – if I smell beans cooking, I’m hungry! 🙂 Thanks, EFB!

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  4. Married to a Puerto Rican and having lived in Brazil our family loves beans. To avoid flatulence do not let beans soak overly long before cooking. For those of us who are more spur-of-the-moment cooks rather than meal planners (Sara, you are so good, but I just don’t know what I will feel like eating 3 days from now) there is the quick method soak – bring beans in water to cover to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let soak for 1 hour and then cook according to directions. And, different beans require different cooking times. Lentils require the least amount of cooking time and no pre-soaking. Garbanzos (chick peas), white, navy, pinto and black beans cook up in just 45 minutes on the stove top (less in a pressure cooker. It does not work to skip the soak time and cook the beans longer – I have no reason why, but trust me, it just doesn’t work.

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    1. 🙂 Great tips, Meg! You are so right that you can’t skip the soaking. Honestly, I could eat beans and brown rice every day. I love it – especially with fresh tomatoes from my garden. Thanks for the great tips, Meg. Super helpful!!

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