Week 8 – February Food Tip – Slowcook Dried Beans

I’m sorry that I’ve gotten behind in posting my weekly food tips.  I have gotten most of my pictures inserted into my posts again.  I’ll catch up this week!  Thank you for your patience.

We eat a lot of dried beans.  We don’t eat a lot of meat, so beans give us the protein we need, and they are very versatile!  I was purchasing canned beans because they were easy to use.  But I found that most cans of beans either have a lot of sodium or sugar added.  Since we try to eat healthy I had to come up with a way to prepare beans, without having to watch over them. That’s where the slow cooker came in.

Take your dried beans, any variety, and wash and pick through them taking out any small rocks and broken or split beans.  Soak them overnight (or during the day if you want).  Drain and rinse them again, and put into the crock pot.  Cover them with a few inches of water.  Make sure you put in enough water for them to soak up as they’re cooking.  About 2 – 3 inches of water over the top of the beans usually is enough.

I cook them on high.  I usually cook them overnight, and then they’re ready in the morning.  But if you might want them ready for dinner, you can cook them during the day.  This doesn’t matter, just whatever is most convenient for you.

Now, depending on the variety of beans and the age, cooking time can vary from 4 – 8 hours or so.  You need to experiment a little with this.  Also, if your crock pot switches to warm mode, instead of turning off, you need to consider this in your timing, although with dried beans I haven’t had a problem them them overcooking from this.

After they have cooked enough, drain them and rinse.  The beans will be good covered and placed in the refrigerator for a couple of days.  I have had great success putting them in containers and freezing them as well.

Enjoy!

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