|Beans, beans! Good for your heart! The more you eat, the more you……..want. Seriously. We <3 beans. I grew up with a mom who almost always had a pot of beans cooking or already ready to eat in the fridge. She always cooked them by soaking overnight and cooking the next morning. It’s what I know……it’s what I did too. Funny how you grow up doing the same things your mom did, even if you don’t know why. We decided to increase our intake of beans so I set out to find an easier way to make them.When you buy dried beans, you’ll pay a LOT less than beans in a can. I’ve always kept canned beans in my stockpile, but now I’m keeping cooked beans in my freezer instead. They are SO easy to make! I knew tons of people cooked their beans in the crock pot, but I had never done it myself – instead doing it like my mom had always done it…..but my mom doesn’t love her crock pot as much as I do. It’s so easy to do; I’ll be cooking all my beans this way from now on. Come over into the light and eat beans. Have I mentioned they are super yummy? All you need are beans, a crock pot, and water…..and salt. Beans without salt are like Annie without Elmo. I needed a batch of black beans, so that’s what I used…..but you can use any dried bean that you have.|
|First you need to rinse your beans and look through them carefully. You’re looking for any bad, shriveled, weird looking beans or rocks. Yes, rocks. So far I’ve not found any rocks in my bags of beans but my mom finds them regularly. You really don’t want to bite into a rock during dinner……so rinse and look them over. You want your family to love beans, not be afraid they’re going to break a tooth.|
|Cover your beans with water….lots of water. Most bags say 10 cups of water. I don’t measure. I just guesstimate. Hmmm, this looks about right. You need plenty of water because they’re going to absorb a LOT while they soak overnight. You’ll be quite surprised at how much they’ll drink.|
|Notice that I’m using my crock instead of dirtying another dish. The purpose of using a crock pot is to lessen the amount of dishes you have – or something like that. Cover your beans and let them rest overnight. I always do this part right before I go to bed and then I know they’re ready when we’re done with breakfast. It only takes a little bit of planning on your part. It’s easy, but you do need to know in advance that you’re going to do it. That’s why meal planning is so important.|
|In the morning (or 8 hours later) pour off the remaining water. Wow! Those were some thirsty beans…..they absorbed a lot of water and now they’re bigger. Do those beans look fat to you? No, it’s just water weight. Now it’s time to cook those babies!
NOTE: Cover beans again, bring to a rapid boil on the stove for 10 minutes. This reduces the toxins present in beans. Drain and then proceed as below.
DO NOT TRY TO BOIL YOUR BEANS IN THE CROCK ON THE STOVETOP. USE A REGULAR POT AND THEN TRANSFER BACK TO THE CROCK.
For an explanation on the toxins in beans, visit Choosing Voluntary Simplicity.
|Cover them with water again. You got rid of the first batch of water – supposedly because it’s going to get rid of the gas or something like that. It’s like the first batch of water captures all the bad stuff and leaves the goodness of the bean behind. Bean behind. That just sounds silly. I have a bean behind. Just put enough water that the beans are covered. I added too much water and had to get rid of some of it when they were done. I get distracted easily.|
|You want to cook them on low for 4-8 hours. It really depends on the type of bean you are using. A bigger bean (kidney) will obviously take longer than a small bean (black). I like my beans to have just a little bit of bite left. But since these were for using in Black Bean Burgers I didn’t worry too much about it.ETA: If you’re going to freeze these beans, you might want to undercook them just a tad…..especially if you’re going to add them to another recipe that requires cooking – in order to avoid mushy beans.The cook time can vary greatly with this method. Start checking after 4 hours, especially if it’s a small bean.|
|When mine had about 2 hours left, I added two teaspoons of salt (two teaspoons per pound of beans is my rule) and left them to finish cooking. Beans need salt. I’ve tried to eat beans without salt…..it wasn’t pretty.|
|You know they are done when they are tender and the liquid looks nice and thick like this. Yummy stuff! It’s great drizzled over cornbread or you can drink it with a straw.|
|Nice and pretty….and ready to eat. I cannot get over how easy it is! I went to the market and got several different beans just to cook in my crock pot. I’m full of excitement like that. You can eat them now or……..|
|You can prep them for the freezer. When they were cool, I labeled the containers and popped them in the freezer for later use. I love cooking stuff in advance to use for later in a recipe. That makes cooking a LOT easier.|
Fix and Forget Friday – How To Cook Beans in a Crock Pot
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