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
- 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!
- 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!