How to Cook Dried Beans

How to Cook Dried Beans & Store Them for Later - Save triple by cooking and freezing your own versus buying organic BPA free canned beans. | ifoodreal.com

If you are paying $3 for a 14 oz can of organic BPA free beans, I have a solution for you – buy dried beans, cook them and freeze in resealable sandwich bags for later. It is three times cheaper! If you are feeding a family of 3 – 5 people, it takes on average 2 cans of beans to prepare one meal. That is $6 for beans only! However, if you are buying regular canned beans not sure if cooking your own is cheaper. However, wait, why are you eating all that BPA?! So, yes, you too need to learn how to cook dried beans.:)

How to Cook Dried Beans & Store Them for Later - Save triple by cooking and freezing your own versus buying organic BPA free canned beans. | ifoodreal.com

Simple math: approximately 3 lbs bag of organic dried beans costs $14, which yields about 14 cans (14 oz each = 1 2/3 cups drained) of beans x $3 = $42. And if you cook a few kinds of beans at a time, you will be set for a few months. I usually cook 3 lbs of each: chickpeas, black beans and pinto or kidney beans; they last me about 6 months.

MY LATEST RECIPES

How to Cook Dried Beans & Store Them for Later - Save triple by cooking and freezing your own versus buying organic BPA free canned beans. | ifoodreal.com

The idea to cook dried beans hit me last year when I got so tired of overpaying for Eden Organic beans (love Eden but don’t love the price). I thought to myself “What the heck?! Back in Ukraine we cooked our own beans and didn’t have to worry about BPA. Why am I buying canned beans?! I never used to”. Then a new grocery store, Thrifty Foods, opened and they were the first ones to carry dried organic beans at a reasonable price in my area. So, that’s where you look for organic dried beans – bulk section. Bulk section is the way to save on all pantry staples – you pay extra for someone to package food instead of you.

How to Cook Dried Beans & Store Them for Later - Save triple by cooking and freezing your own versus buying organic BPA free canned beans. | ifoodreal.com

Short story about BPA: generally all cans are lined with BPA, which leaks into food and is harmful for us. That’s why there are now BPA free baby bottles, food containers and cans. A few years ago I eliminated all canned goods except coconut milk (can’t find BPA free one and can’t make my own), tomato sauce and diced tomatoes (Costco carries organic BPA free at a reasonable price). Corn, peas etc. I buy frozen organic now (at Costco as well). Or don’t buy LOL. I try to buy organic as much as I can, therefore my cooking is really based on what I have on hand rather than shopping for specific ingredients.

So, to how cook dried beans? It is super super easy. I can guarantee you have all tools on hand already. All you need is a large pot, small mesh strainer (a perforated spoon like this or this one works as well) and resealable plastic sandwich bags (I found some BPA free).

1. Soak & Rinse Dried Beans

how to cook dried beans

Soak beans overnight or for at least 6 hours. I prefer overnight because it’s just easier. Place beans in a large bowl and add cold water up to 3 inches above the beans. In the morning, you will find that beans have expanded and soaked up water.

Drain and rinse beans, repeat about 3 times until water runs clear. Place beans in a large stock pot and again fill with cold water 3 inches above the beans.

About soaking the beans. I know some modern theories say you don’t need to soak beans. I personally think you do because soaking helps beans to rehydrate and prevent them from splitting open during cooking, reduce cooking time by as much as 70% thus preserving more nutrients, get rid of dirt, and remove the indigestible complex sugars to minimize gas. So, I soak my beans. You can read more about soaking beans.

2. Cook Soaked Beans & Remove Foam

How to Cook Dried Beans & Store Them for Later - Save triple by cooking and freezing your own versus buying organic BPA free canned beans. | ifoodreal.com

Place on a stovetop and bring to the boil on High. Just before beans start boiling you will see a lot of foam. Remove it with a mesh strainer or perforated spoon. Even regular large spoon works. Anything that makes sense works.:)

Reduce heat to low – medium and cook uncovered for 35 – 40 minutes or until beans are cooked al dente. I mean, taste them. I once overcooked beans and it wasn’t fun, so just watch your beans closely and don’t go take a bubble bath while they are cooking.

3. Rinse & Cool Cooked Beans

How to Cook Dried Beans & Store Them for Later - Save triple by cooking and freezing your own versus buying organic BPA free canned beans. | ifoodreal.com

When beans are cooked rinse them in a colander under cold running water, for about 2 minutes. This stops the cooking process and gets beans ready for freezing. Let them drain and transfer to a large bowl. I do it in batches. Let beans cool completely before packing to avoid BPA leaking into beans (it releases when plastic gets warm). I used Glad BPA free bags too. If it’s cool outside, place them there to speed up the process.

4. Pack & Freeze Cooked Beans

How to Cook Dried Beans & Store Them for Later - Save triple by cooking and freezing your own versus buying organic BPA free canned beans. | ifoodreal.com

Then pack into each bag, about 1 3/4 cups each. That’s how much a 14 oz can of drained beans is. Freeze for up to 6 months. Handy if you have a chest freezer. That’s it!

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How to Cook Dried Beans

Ingredients

  • Dried beans like chickpeas, black/pinto/navy/kidney beans etc. (I cook 3 lbs at a time)
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Soak & Rinse: Soak beans overnight or for at least 6 hours (I prefer overnight because it’s just easier). Place beans in a large bowl and add cold water up to 3″ above the beans. After soaking, drain and rinse beans, repeat about 3 times until water runs clear. Place beans in a large stock pot and again fill with cold water 3 inches above the beans.
  2. Cook & Remove Foam: Place on a stovetop and bring to the boil on High. Just before beans start boiling you will see a lot of foam. Remove it with a mesh strainer or perforated spoon. Even regular large spoon works. Anything that makes sense works.:) Reduce heat to low – medium and cook uncovered for 35 – 40 minutes or until beans are cooked al dente. I mean, taste them. I once overcooked beans and it wasn’t fun, so just watch your beans closely and don’t go take a bubble bath while they are cooking.
  3. Rinse & Cool: When beans are cooked rinse them in a colander under cold running water, for about 2 minutes. This stops the cooking process and gets beans ready for freezing. Let them drain and transfer to a large bowl. I do it in batches. Let beans cool completely before packing to avoid BPA leaking into beans (it releases when plastic gets warm). I used Glad BPA free bags too. If it’s cool outside, place them there to speed up the process.
  4. Pack & Freeze: Then pack into each bag, about 1 3/4 cups each. That’s how much a 14 oz can of drained beans is. Freeze for up to 6 months. Handy if you have a chest freezer.

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Chicken Cauliflower Rice and Beans

Black Bean Nachos

Beef and Bean Soup

No Bake Black Bean Brownies

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