Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Dry beans are a super economical way to stretch your food budget. For years, i did not know how to make beans from scratch and just always bought them canned. I thought I would pass on the info for those who may be like me!

The night before you want to serve the beans, put your dried beans into a big bowl(or into your empty crock pot) and cover with water. Make sure there is about 3 inches of water above the beans.. maybe a bit more. Leave them soaking on the counter over night. The soaking helps break down enzymes in the beans that are hard for us to digest. I have left my beans soaking up to 2 days.

In the morning, drain the bowl of beans, and rinse a couple times. Throw the beans into your crock pot, and cover with water. At this point you will also want to season your beans. If your beans are for a Mexican dish (refried?) You would add cumin, garlic, red pepper, adobo, salt etc. I don't measure.. just dump! If you were cooking beans for an Italian dish, you might add basil, oregano, pepper, salt. Season to your tastes and preferences.

Put your crock pot on low and cook allllll day. At dinner time, you will have a nice steamy bunch o cooked beans.

I cook up a crock of beans each week and we eat them all week. At breakfast with eggs and tortillas, in soups at lunch, with cornbread, with chicken, refried... the possibilities are endless!

We also refry the beans.. Just dump some in a frying pan with some of the cooking liquid from the crock pot. turn on the heat, and mash with a potato masher. Season to taste. SOOO MUCH better than canned.

If you have leftover beans you can can them with a pressure canner. I process mine for 90 minutes at 15psi but you should check for your elevation. :) Enjoy!

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