Do you ever try something new, something people have been recommending for years, and think “Duh, what took me so long?” Well that’s pretty much how I feel about not only purchasing a slow cooker, but becoming somewhat of an expert at cooking beans in it. Not that it takes much expertise to cook beans in a slow cooker. It’s so simple it’s laughable. Last week I made chickpeas for the first time in the slow cooker and I couldn’t believe how delicious they were compared to canned!
Why cook beans in a slow cooker or Crock Pot? Here are 4 great reasons:
1. Price: You get 6 cans worth of beans for the price of about one can of beans
2. Taste: They taste so much better
3. Health: You can control the amount of sodium in your beans
4. Safety: You don’t have to worry about exposing your family to BPA or whatever else is in a can’s linings that might not be safe for us to consume
Plus it’s so easy! My family eats beans at least once a week. Beans are so incredibly healthy, a fantastic source of fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins.
So here’s how to cook dried beans in a slow cooker or Crock-Pot:
1. Soak 1 lb. dried beans in cold water for a few hours or overnight and drain them. Alternatively, quick soak by covering the beans with plenty of water in a pot, bringing it to a boil, turning off the heat and letting them sit, covered, for 1 hour, then drain. This is not necessary but it may reduce the beans’ gassy effect when you eat them.
2. Put the drained (or dry) beans in the slow cooker and cover them with water.
3. Add seasonings as desired. I recommend 1 – 2 tsp. of salt and then 1 – 2 tsp. of other spices like chili powder, cumin, garlic powder (make sure it doesn’t have added salt), paprika, pepper, etc., if desired.
4. Cook them on low for 7 – 10 hours until the beans are tender. Drain and freeze or refrigerate them in 1 1/2 cup increments (measure the beans before freezing them because they are very hard to separate when frozen.)
5. That’s it!