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Dried Beans

February 4th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

My blog's title is due in part to my fondness for the humble bean. Legumes are wholesome, tasty, versatile and cheap, what else could you want in food?

Despite my bean penchant, I admit always buying the canned rather than dried variety. Once, as a college student, I tried to cook dried beans and the result was less than appetizing. My local grocery stores sells a variety of canned 15.5 oz beans for $0.55 each, so dried beans hardly seem worth the hassle.

However, yesterday I threw caution to the wind and cooked up some dried beans in the Crockpot. The result was superb! I mixed 1 cup dried beans with 4 cups water and 1 bay leaf, turned the crock pot on high and ~5 hours later, I had a pot of tasty, fragrant beans.

I used about 3/4 in a chili recipe and will use the rest later this week.

I'm converted!

7 Responses to “Dried Beans”

  1. mom-from-missouri Says:

    Secret is liquid and time!

  2. Dido Says:

    nice. I occasionally cook up a batch in the crockpot and freeze what I don't use immediately for later use.

    Secret #3 is using reasonably fresh dried beans. The ones that you (well, I, at any rate) have in the back of the cupboard from 3 years ago are still perfectly good food, but they take lots longer to cook and never get as soft as the fresher stock.

  3. daylily Says:

    I've cooked garnanzo beans and then frozen the leftovers with success.

    I had a good find recently at Aldi. They were selling off all their canned black beans for 20-cents a can. I scooped up all the remaining cans!

  4. threebeansalad Says:

    That is a good find, Daylily! As far as I've been able to find, the only canned bean our Aldi sells in kidney beans.

  5. DeniseNTexas Says:

    We love beans from dried! I use canned dark red kidney beans or Ranch Style beans in chili but other than those two, we cook 'em from dry! Beans are good food. Wink

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    My husband has been using dried beans lately, and it's adversely affecting my deep love of all things beany! They just don't have the lovely mushiness of canned beans. I hate having to bite down on a harder bean; it's all about texture for me. Crockpot, eh? We've got one that we never use. Maybe I'll gently suggest we cook them that way. I love that he's trying to do something frugal (and lower-sodium), so I want to find a way to make this work!

  7. daylily Says:

    Correct. Black beans are a seasonal or promotional item at Aldi's. They only have them for a couple months during the summer - usually starting around Cinco de Mayo. In my case, they had the excess stock on closeout sometime this fall.

    Similarly I've noticed that certain Asian products are only stocked for a short time. That is too bad because I found a terrific Orange/Mango sauce there that was only $1.29 for the bottle. Every subsequent visit there, I have not found that product.

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