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Apr
22

Beans

So many recipes want a can of beans here or there, but canned beans usually have a ton of extra sodium and possibly other ingredients, when dry beans are so much cheaper.

I have canned beans using a pressure canner, but right now I’m lower on pantry space versus freezer space, so I’ve been making larger batches of beans to freeze.

No matter which method I use to make beans, soaking is required, in my opinion, for good texture.

The options are:

long soak overnight (soak beans, covered by 2-3 inches of water, in pot),

or

quick soak (simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 2 hours)

I usually do the long soak, just for convenience, because I like to cook the beans for most of the day, and it can be done overnight, without being in the way or anything.

Before soaking: (1lb cranberry beans)

IMG_0986

 

After the beans are soaked, I slow simmer them for several hours. I do this in the crock pot or on the stove, usually depending on if I expect to have to leave the house. They require very little intervention except they require double checking that there is still ample water, throughout the day.

Before:

IMG_0987

 

After:IMG_1001

From here, they can be frozen, eaten, or added to another dish. I’ve made much larger batches in my stock pot. Beans expand a lot when they cook, so it can be surprising how much you wind up with.

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