Cooking your own beans is cheaper, yummier and healthier than using the canned stuff. You can whip up a bunch and store some in the fridge to use during the week, or save them in freezer ziploc bags in your freezer for weeks, maybe even months(ours never last that long). I cook 4-5 cups of dried black beans about once a week. We really like black beans around here :). We’ll eat them with dinner once or twice a week and then several of my kids like to have them by themselves for lunch with a little parmesan cheese. In fact, my first grader takes them almost every day for lunch in a thermos. I like to put some on a salad with some salsa. Yum! When I freeze beans I’ll put about 2 cups of cooked beans per freezer-ziploc bag; and be sure to label the bag with the date.
Cooking beans is really pretty easy, made even easier with a crock pot. It takes me about 5 minutes to prep these beans which I love! I just throw them in the crockpot in the morning and they’re ready for dinner. The cooking time can vary a little depending on the age of the bean, but I’ve had beans for months that still cook up in about 6 1/2 hours on high just like my new beans, so it’s going to be right around there. My crockpot will automatically switch to the ‘warm’ setting once the time is up, which comes in handy. You want to cook them until they are tender but still hold their shape.
Crock Pot Black Beans
4-5 c dried beans
12 c water
1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp dehydrated onion (can sub with 1/4 of fresh onion, chopped)
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder (can sub with chili powder)
Place your beans in a large crock pot. Pick through and discard any debris like tiny pebbles or broken beans. Rinse beans with water and then dump out the water and fill again with water until it’s about 3/4 of the way full or about 1 inch from brim. (I read it’s about 3:1 ratio; 3 cups water to one cup beans so I use about 12 c water). Add spices. Turn crock pot on high and cook about 6 and 1/2 hours until tender (longer if older beans). When finished strain the water out and they are ready to eat! Whatever we’re not going to eat within about 5 days, I’ll freeze in freezer quart ziploc bags. The day we need more beans I’ll pull a bag out of the freezer and let it thaw on my kitchen counter for a few hours before warming them up.
You can eat these black beans so many different ways. We like them plain and with: