Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WFMW: Cooking & Freezing Dried Beans

My family does not eat a lot of meat. So we supplement with beans. I struggled with finding the best way to cook and store dried beans for a long time. The problem I kept running into was that if I had a recipe that called for beans, I would often not remember to start cooking the beans enough in advance for them to be ready by meal time. And then, I often did not cook them long enough. I tried soaking them, I tried cooking them. It was never the right texture. Finally I tried soaking and cooking! Hah! I finally found the right combination. Then I started to wonder, "what if I froze the cooked beans?". I tried it, they were fine in recipes after being frozen.

Here's what I do (I tried to take pictures of all my steps, but my camera flaked out on me and I only ended up with 3 -- but this is not rocket science, if I figured it out, you can too!):

Rinse the dry beans and pick out any bad ones, dirt or other things that shouldn't be in there (usually it's just bad beans).

Place beans in bowl and cover with cold water. Make sure there is at least 2 inches of water above beans.

Soak in refrigerator overnight.

Remove beans from bowl, rinse, and place in large pot on stove. Add clean fresh water to pot. Make sure at least 2 inches of water covers beans in pot.

Cook on medium for 90 minutes. Check the beans every 30 minutes to make sure the water hasn't cooked out. Add water as needed.

* Note: I've read that to cut down on the gas that beans supposedly cause people who eat them, you should scoop off the foam that forms on top of the water while cooking. I've done it. I can't say that it works or not because I never noticed beans giving us a lot of gas when I didn't do this. But if this is a problem for you, try it!.

Drain water

Let beans cool.

Measure out two cups of cooked beans.

Place 2 cups worth into Ziploc Freezer Bags and flatten out. This makes it easier to stack and store the beans in the freezer.

Wallah! You've got several "cans" worth of beans from one bag of dried beans. Depending upon the size bag I get, I can usually get the equivalent of 4 cans of beans from one bag. And, they are healthier because you know exactly what is in them.

So, now I store lots of cooked beans in my freezer. And I never worry about having beans done in time for dinner. I can remove them from the freezer and throw them right in the pot I'm cooking, like I used to do with canned beans.
This is what works for me! Do you have a tip or idea about food storage? Please let me know.
This is linked to Works For Me Wednesday hosted by We are that family!



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home