Since beans have been on the brain, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’ve gone to great lengths to find the best alternative to BPA infested canned varieties, and haven’t given any thought to cooking my own.
Here are the reasons.
In the past when I have cooked dried beans it has been such an ordeal- first to soak, then cook them for hours, only to use a cup of them and then guiltily throw the rest away a week later because I don’t know how long they can last in the refrigerator. Canned beans are just so convenient!
The vast difference in cost between organic dried bulk section beans and organic canned or tetrapak’d beans has not bothered me enough to make the switch, but the cost of BPA in my blood stream, breast milk, and babies’ bodies has finally pushed me over the edge.
So I did some research ( ok, a lot of research) on the best way to cook beans from scratch. Then I tried different methods and used the beans in favorite recipes and guess what? It’s super easy to cook and store dried beans so you’ll always have some conveniently on hand.
How To Cook Dried Beans:
First, you have to soak them. Soaking beans minimizes the sugars that cause gas, and also allows for shorter cooking times, which preserves nutrients.
Soaking dried beans
- Pour cold water over the beans to cover.
- Soak beans for 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain beans, discard soak water and rinse with fresh, cool water.
(Cold water starts the re hydration process slowly so beans will appear wrinkled after soaking.)
After soaking, time to cook!
- Examine the beans and throw away any that are discolored or shriveled.
- Rinse the beans with water and then drain the water.
- Put the beans in a large pot and add fresh water until it covers them with 2 to 3 inches.
- Heat beans and water to boiling, then turn the heat to LOW and cover the pot. Check occasionally to see if you need to add more water during cooking.
- When the beans are tender but firm, they’re ready to eat!
- Different bean varieties require different cooking times, but it’s usually about 1-2 hours.
Cook too many beans? Come back tomorrow for directions on Freezing Cooked Beans!