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how to cook your own black beans

We have a busy day planned today!  It involves the Freedom Trail which I haven’t officially done since field trips in grade school…I’m excited!

I headed out for a run this morning in the gorgeous weather.  I did some loops around Castle Island to stay close to home and covered 5.6 miles in 49 minutes – yahoo!  It feels good to be running consistently again (or at least for the past 4 days, but I plan to keep it up).

Before my run, I fueled up with 2 small slices of Fruit & Nut Manna Bread spread with my homemade Crazy Nut Butter.  And, some black/green tea straight from Korea!  (The mug is from Korea, too!)

I got home and Brant was cooking up a storm, so I refueled with a small green monster (1 banana, 1.5 cup spinach, scant 1 scoop chocolate Vega Health Optimizer and 3/4 cup almond milk) and 2 scrambled eggs with cheese, salsa and a slice of toast.

We are headed out the door for our day of fun, so I thought I would leave you with some cooking lessons. 🙂  I hope you enjoy!

I have discovered that cooking your own beans is definitely the way to go!  I cooked a huge batch of chickpeas over a month ago, and I am still enjoying them.

The steps for cooking all types beans are pretty much the same.  Cooking time will vary, but other than that it is pretty simple.  Even though I posted about chickpeas awhile ago, I have received quite a few comments and emails about how to cook your own beans, so I figured I would post about black beans!

I highly recommend  making a big batch of beans at once, instead of making multiple small batches.  This way it will be convenient for you.  I think that one of the biggest reasons why people love canned beans is their convenience.  Well, how easy is it to take a container of home-cooked beans out of the freezer?!  Easier than taking a can out of the pantry, a can opener out of your drawer and opening the beans, if you ask me. 🙂  Plus, they taste SO much better!

I picked up 2 pounds of organic black beans the last time I was at Whole Foods.  You could get them in the bulk bin section too, but they didn’t have them when I was there.

Each bag is 1 pound and was only $1.99!!!

How to Cook Black Beans

1.  Lay your beans out on a cookie sheet (or counter) and quickly look through them to make sure there are no stones, bad beans, etc.

2.  Then, put your beans into a large covered container filled with water.  The beans will expand a lot, so make sure that you leave ample room.  I put 1 pound in each container.

They had expanded a little bit even after an hour!

3.  Leave your beans to soak overnight (or at least 8 hours).  Soaking your beans will make them cook faster and will allow your body to digest them better.

4.  When you come back 8 hours later, your water will be black!  And, when you open them, you will see how much your beans expanded.  They were almost up to the top of the jars here.

5.  Rinse the beans a few times until the water is clearer.  I placed a small handheld strainer over the top and drained while keeping the beans in the jars.  Then, I added more water and rinsed a few times.

6.  Dump your beans into your slow-cooker.  You can cook your beans in a pot on the stove as well, however, I prefer the crockpot!  You can leave the beans in there and not worry about leaving the house or sleeping with them cooking.

7.  Fill the crockpot up with water until the beans are completely covered by about 1 inch of water.

8.  Place the lid on and set your timer to LOW for 8 hours.

9.  I went to sleep and never checked the beans again until the morning.  I woke up to this…

10.  Test the beans to make sure they are cooked and then dump them into a big strainer and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking.

11.  Place the beans onto a cookie sheet to dry and cool.  I placed one of my cookie sheets in the freezer after they cooled.  I find that it is better to freeze the beans on a cookie sheet and then place them into a container with them frozen.  This prevents the beans from all clumping together!

12.  After your beans are frozen or dry, store them in containers or bags in your refrigerator or freezer!

I placed 3 containers in the freezer and one in the fridge so that I can use them this weekend.

I tend to cook all of my beans plain and then season them when I am using them.  This way, I can enjoy them in different ways.  You could add some seasonings to the water in your crockpot while simmering to add flavor.

See how simple that was?  Yes, there are a lot of steps, but nothing takes to long.  The most you are doing is moving the beans from one place to the next.  This will save you loads of money and you will be surprised at how much better they taste.

2 pouns of beans at $3.98 makes at least 10 cans of beans, which comes out to be less than $0.40 per can!  You can’t beat that. 🙂


3 Responses

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! Thanks so much for sharing how you do this because I would much rather use dried than canned beans. I also love that you used a crockpot because I don’t worry about leaving that on while sleeping, and what a great price! Have a wonderful day!

  2. You are so stinkin’ smart to freeze your beans on baking sheets before putting them in individual tuppers! When you said “make a large batch n freeze” I immediately pictured all the beans squished together all frozen and un-attractive, and look, you know how to prevent that! & btw, this is almost exactly how my mexican hubby and I make our beans – but he adds garlic + onion (removes ’em after the beans cook) + some salt.

    Did I mention how smart you were for freezing the beans on a baking sheet? For real! haha. Have a fantastic weekend!

  3. Great idea about freezing the beans! I love using black beans in whole grain dishes (brown rice,quinoa) or tossing them on a salad for extra protein.
    Thanks for sharing this!

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