Thursday, November 4, 2010

How-to: Dried Beans in a Crockpot

I am sorry for my absence this week...and I apologize in advance for the shortness of this post. I am suffering from a mid-course professor switch. And the professor before and after could not be more different. It's made for a very stressful, homework filled week. I am glad the weekend is almost here!

Beans are pretty essential to a vegetarian. They are a great source of protein and taste great! Dried beans are sooo much cheaper than canned beans but involve a lot of hassle. Sad Stephanie. Buuttt did you know that you could cook beans in a slow cooker? And then freeze the cooked beans for easier use of large batches? Happy Stephanie! This does require some planning. I normally try to get the beans done over the weekend so that they're ready for the week. And since you can make large batches and freeze them in portions, once you get going, you won't have to do all the different types in the same weekend.

Dried Beans in the Slow Cooker
Makes 2-4 cups cooked beans, depending on the type of beans

  • 2 cups dried beans, any type
  • 1/4 onion, wedged
  • Water

Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover plus 2 inches. Drain in the morning

Put drained beans in the slow cooker and add enough water to cover plus 4-5 inches. Put the onion in there whole; add a bay leaf if you'd like. DO NOT ADD SALT. Beans need to be salted after cooking or you will have a weird consistency inside. Remember osmosis?

Cook on low for 8-12 hours depending on the bean. I know that sucks as a time frame. But I can't do better than that. After a few times, you'll start to see how long different beans take. The garbanzo beans pictured took 9 hours. But, as you can see, I have an extremely old Crockpot so that will vary per person. 

Drain the beans and remove the onion and/or bay leaf. 

Separate the beans into portions. I did three 1 cup in a container for use that week and two others, labeled in the freezer. I didn't salt them before freezing. But I wrote unsalted on the bags so I would remember to salt them when I used them.

What can you do with these frozen goodies? Add quick protein to a mediocre pizza, of course!!

Yummm! Seriously. Never had garbanzo beans on a pizza? Pick up a Mediterranean veggie pizza somewhere and try it. You won't be disappointed!! I would suggest thawing them a bit in the microwave or on the counter before using them. Some of them were still a little cold inside after 15 minutes in the oven. 

And that's all I have for you today folks. Sorry but I have to get back to homework....or Facebook stalking. One or the other ;) Until next time... ♥


Kimberly said...

I cooked black, pinto, and kidney beans together in the crockpot, and I think it took 7 hours on low. maybe the black beans would take a shorter amount of time by themselves since they're a bit smaller, but they didn't taste overdone... Perfect for class days!

~Kimberly A-T

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