I'd like to start making my own beans to freeze and use in recipes. I have a crockpot. How do I cook the beans? Any hints on freezing?
I cook beans in the crock pot all the time. Same way you do on the stove. I clean/soak for 8 or 24 hours. Replace with clean water, an onion, several cloves of garlic. Put it all in the crock pot and let it cook all day. So far no problems. Then I measure out my beans in 1 cup or 2 cup measures and put in freezer bags. Lay them flat in freezer, easy for storage. And label label label.......
There may be an easier way.....
I do them in the crockpot but don't pre-soak.We don't have any problem digesting them.
I usually do a 2 C water to 1 C dried beans ratio, cook them on high most of the day. Sometimes I have to add a little more water to pintos. I will add veggies/onion/etc int he beginning, but add tomato and seasonings after they've been cooking a while or at the end.
For anyone else who is considering crockpot beans...
I made 2 1/4 pounds of black beans in a 6 quart crockpot. That's the maximum amount that I can make in one batch (so lucky my son spilled the additional beans.) After they cooled I drained them and lay them on cookie sheets under a spinning ceiling fan to dry. It's 1 in the morning and I didn't want to wait until sun's up to freeze so they were just the slightest bit damp when I put them in bags. I hope that doesn't become a problem.
I put 1.5 cups of beans in each can (that's how much beans I got out of one can of great northern beans yesterday. I used that as my guide for how much to make each bag.)
I got 10 bags (one bag is just under 2 cups.)
It cost me $3.35 for the dry beans. Ziplock bags were about 7.5 cents each. I added an onion and garlic, though I don't think I'll do that next time (so won't include them in cost analysis.)
So it cost me $4.10 for 10 bags of beans (equivalent to 10 cans.) 41 cents per bag compared to 89 cents for a can at Trader Joe's. So for all my work I saved $4.80.
If they freeze without clumping next time I might just freeze them in large bags and measure out how much I need when it's time to use them. Or maybe I'll invest in canning jars. I've read yesterday you can freeze in them (I would get BPA free lids.)
I'm not sure it's worth it to me if it's just about the money (though every little bit helps.) Also, the cost of electricity to run the freezer is a reality. There is something really great about making food out of the most basic products. That's something I want my kids growing up with and for that it's worth it for me.