Before I started eating clean, I always just bought canned beans. However, once I finally took the plunge over to dried beans, I never went back. Dried beans are very budget friendly. Since I get asked so many questions on how to prepare dried beans, I thought I would write this handy tutorial. I was once very intimated by the whole process myself.
Dried vs Canned
Dried beans are so much cheaper and they taste cleaner as well. With canned beans, you get added sodium, BPA and other additives. Sure there are BPA free canned beans, but they can be pretty pricey. Dried beans are free of all of those things and they are very inexpensive. Especially when you buy them in bulk like I do. In their dried form, they last for quite some time. I store mine in glass jars in my pantry. One thing to remember, dried beans are not salted at all, so you will most likely have to add salt to the dish you are making. When you buy dried beans, they look like this.
They are very hard. So they need to be soaked overnight. I use this old cookie jar to soak mine. It’s just the right size.
Beans double in size after soaking, so it’s a good idea to fill the container pretty high with water. So if you add 2 cups dried beans, you will have close to 4 cups after soaking. Once the the dried beans have soaked overnight, drain and rinse them well.
I apologize for the awful photos. My kitchen has zero natural light. But you can pretty much get the idea. Once they are drained and rinsed. Fill a large pot with brand new water and add the beans in. Set the stove on high and bring to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, a foam will start to appear on top of the water. Use a slotted spoon to remove the foam. This actually reduces the amount of gas in the beans. Some beans take longer than others to soften. Chickpeas take the longest. If you get a pressure cooker, you can prepare dried beans in a much shorter amount of time. I am still trying to convince my husband why we need yet another appliance. LOL.
This picture was actually taken after my beans had been boiling for about 15-20 minutes. Once you have the beans soft, you can drain and rinse again. Now the beans are ready to use. They will only last 4-5 days in the fridge. However, you can freeze them for longer. This is what they look like after they are done.
As you can see, the process is pretty simple. I hope you find this post helpful.