Using Dry Beans

How to Replace Canned Beans with Dry Beans

Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more … well you know. ;-p (sorry couldn’t resist!) Black, pinto, northern, kidney, if it is a dry bean this would work, today just happens to be great northern beans. I started last night by following the directions on the bag and did an overnight soak. I am sure glad I notice I had a 2 pound bag and the directions were for 1 pound of beans (Be sure to read those directions!) 

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great northern beans after overnight soak
This morning I drained the water and covered the bowl with plastic wrap until I could get back to it this afternoon, I am sure it wouldn’t have hurt to soak them longer but I have noticed soaking for too long can sometimes cause the beans to split.  On to cooking them, I found that 1 pound of soaked beans fits just right in a 2.5 qt crock-pot, so you unless you have more than one or a 5 qt you may one to stick with just 1 pound of beans. I have one of those 3 x 2.5 qt crock-pot gizmos which came in very handy today. I guess now I can laugh about having to put a new crock-pot on my Christmas list, thanks to our #2 who decided to be an electrician like is papa and cut some wire one day when he saw the wire cutter and my crock-pot that got left out! Aaaahhh! Let’s just say, after the anger subsided, I became very fond of my Dutch oven that was still in its original box from our wedding … almost 15 years later! Thanks to the individual that gifted that because I LOVE IT; wish I hadn’t missed out on so many years of cooking with it. I really would use that for everything but I don’t think leaving our oven on all day unattended would be looked upon very highly (hehe) so we have to use the crock-pot every once in a while.
OK, getting back on track. When I got home today, I put my soaked beans in my crock-pot, added the recommended amount of hot water to them, and turned in on low. The directions say to simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours which is what I usually do, but felt the need to figure out the crock-pot way of during this. I would be so up for doing this more regularly if I could throw it in the crock-pot and forget about it! SO, today is the test day … how long do the beans need to cook in the crock-pot? We are at almost one and half hours right now and after a taste test, we have a WAYS to go! I will keep you posted.
Cost Comparison – 
Dry Bean Cost: 2 pounds of beans will get you about 18 cups of cooked beans, so approximately $0.30 to $0.40 per 2 cups (16 oz) of cooked beans depending on the type of beans
Canned Bean Cost: approximately $0.60 to $1 per 15 oz can depending on type and brand
The nice thing about dry beans, you can buy bulk and keep in the freezer which means it could maybe be even cheaper!
I can see this branching out into … homemade chili beans, homemade re-fried beans, oh the bean stories we could come up with!
Be sure to check back for updates! Something to remember is cooking times will vary depending on the size of the beans.

Today’s Question – What’s your go to bean for recipes?

Update 9:15pm – So I cooked them on low for 7 and half hours. One of my crocks was slightly over done, maybe by about 30 minutes and the other one was perfect! I don’t usually use these containers to freeze things but decided since I had an abundance of them (and they would be easily accessible for all of you to store up and use as well) I’d give it a shot. The plastic wrap wouldn’t be a necessity but I felt it would help keep them sealed better. I am always leery about freezing these types of containers ever since the issue about dioxins came up dealing with reusing and freezing water bottles, but since I have read the dioxin issue was a myth and the bigger issue is the bacteria when reusing so just make sure they are clean. In the past I have used the good old fashion square freezer containers my grandma used. 

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great northern beans dated and ready to go in the freezer

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