Making beans doesn’t have to be complicated. I feel like there’s a million recipes and opinions out there about to how cook your beans, to soak or not to soak, to rinse or not to rinse, etc etc. So to add to all the noise, I’m going to throw my own recipe out there, but here’s the upside to mine – it’s really really easy.
Homemade beans really do taste a lot better than the canned version, but it’s so inconvenient to cook beans on the stove. It takes hours and hours and you have to constantly be checking on it – making sure it doesn’t need more water, stirring it, taking the lid on and off.. It’s just too much. It’s annoying and it’s just not worth it. Not to mention, having to remember to soak the beans beforehand and yeah, I’m out.
But here’s why my recipe is worth it – no soaking, no slaving away for hours at a time at the stove, none of that silliness. Just 5 minutes at the beginning and 5 minutes at the end, and you get all the upside of making your own beans (more delicious, and cheaper) with none of the hassle. Does it sound too good to be true? It isn’t.
All you need is a little $20 contraption called a slow cooker and you’re on your way to creamy, delicious, bean heaven. Let’s get to this recipe, shall we?
Also, HERE’s the slow cooker I use to make a batch of beans every 3 or 4 days (and have been for years) – it’s literally $20 at Kohl’s. This is just to say, you don’t need anything fancy, the slow cooker for $5 at Good Will will do just fine.
These beans are ridiculously easy and taste so much better than the canned version, not to mention they're cheaper!
- 3 cups dried beans*
- 10 smashed garlic cloves (optional but it'll taste better)
- 3 bay leaves or your favorite dried herbs (optional)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp salt
- 12 cups water
- 1. Add all ingredients to a slow-cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours. Smaller beans will take less time than larger beans and older beans will take longer to cook than fresher ones.
- 2. Taste a few beans to see if they're done. If they aren't creamy all the way through, let them keep cooking. There shouldn't even be a hint of bite. I REPEAT, DO NOT UNDERCOOK THEM. Crunchy beans are not delicious.
- 3. When the beans are cooked, drain them, DO NOT RINSE and let them cool.
- 4. Once cool, separate the beans into separate containers putting 1 1/3 - 1 1/2 cups of beans per container and store them in the freezer. Each container is equivalent to 1 15-oz can of beans.
* Each cup of dried beans yields about 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans.