Thursday, August 21

Bean Around

What is your experience with cooking dried beans? Have you done it? Do you dread it? Do you like beans? A friend of mine told me the method she uses to cook black beans on Saturdays for her family of 10. Just today, I came across an informative site showing how to cook dried beans, and it's similar to my friend's method: Cooked Beans Primer

I'd like to give it a try, southwestern style, and need to get some beans from the East End Coop (read: great prices and organic). Dried beans are cheaper than canned beans. Please tell me your experience with beans and give any favorite add-ins to them.

7 comments:

Catherine said...

I cook dried beans a lot. My only tip is not to forget about them, because if the water all boils away, your house will smell like burned beans, which is not good. :) I mix them in casseroles or with taco meat, or puree them to thicken soups, etc.

Alicia said...

Haha, good tip! That's a good idea for soups.

Rachel said...

What I've started doing is cooking dried beans (after rinsing and picking out the bad ones) in the crock pot on low. I watch it all day (though it's less work than on the stove) and when they're soft, I drain them, let them cool and put them into bags in the freezer. Then it's almost as convenient as a can of beans. I also mash them up in the bag sometimes to add to taco meat so that my kids don't notice them. (the soup idea is fantastic too.)

Anonymous said...

Make sure you soak them overnight the night before you plan to cook them. This significantly cuts off cooking time. I used to make them all the time and freeze the extras. You're right - making them yourself is a lot cheaper and the EEFC has so many varieties in their bulk section. Try the aduki beans - they are small and take less time to cook, and they look cool!
-erin w.

Alicia said...

Thanks for the tip, Erin! I thought of you tonight because I made the green bean mint salad, using beans and a red onion from the CSA farm. Ryan really liked it!

Anonymous said...

I am going to make that salad again tonight but this time I am using yellow beans, from a friend's farm, instead! I think it'll be pretty with the mint, pecans, and feta. I'll let you know if it's good!
-erin w.

Sara said...

Alicia, I love browsing through all your food posts! I used to cook dry great northern beans, then add potatoes, carrots, chicken and broth to them to make a huge batch of soup, which I could also partially convert into many, many jars of puree for baby food. Sometimes I have found the beans are not as soft as the canned kind - not sure if I should cook them longer than the directions say, or what. I always soaked overnight... I don't know why that happened, but the soup, regardless, is filling and comforting!