Crock Pot Beans

Beans, beans, the magical fruit!  The more you eat, the more you… want to save money on them!  Today’s experiment: Crock Pot Beans.

Lentils, kidneys, chickpeas.  My family has recently made some changes to our diet in an effort to eat healthier.  This means we are eating more beans.  Beans are cheap in the first place, compared to meat, but I have an additional tip that will increase their cheapness.

Alright, everybody, break out your crock pot!  Yes, that modern marvel is the key to yet another way to save money.  This method of cooking beans is effortless with almost no prep at all.

  1. Dump one pound of dried beans or chickpeas into a colander.  Rinse off the beans and look through to pull out any shriveled or weirdly colored beans.  Now throw them into the crock pot.
  2. Add enough water to cover the beans by two or three inches.
  3. Put the lid on the pot and let those beans soak overnight.
  4. The next morning, pull out the colander again and dump the beans into it, letting all the yucky bean water go down the drain.
  5. Put the beans back into the crock pot and cover them again with enough water to cover them over two or three inches.
  6. Set your crock pot on low and leave the beans for eight hours.
  7. After eight hours, presto!  You have perfectly cooked beans!
  8. Drain and rinse the beans once again, discarding the liquid.

At this point, I put most of the beans into a freezer bag unless I’ll be using them immediately.  If you place them into bags in batches of two cups each, that is about the same amount as a 15 ounce can of beans, which is the amount used most often in recipes.

At Wal-Mart, one pound of dried beans cost the same as two cans of the same bean.  However, by cooking the dried bean in your crock pot, you get the same amount as at least three cans of beans.  Depending on the type of bean, you may get a little more.  I got 7-1/2 cups of black beans out of one pound dried, but I got 8 cups of chickpeas from one pound dried.

If you’re not sure how to use all the beans you’ve just placed in your freezer, watch for articles about some of my family’s favorite bean uses coming soon.