NO more canned beans! - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-22-2007, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A discussion in Frugality and Finances got me started thinking - I really need to cut out canned beans. Since we (basically) cut out meat, we eat a lot of beans: specifically garbonzo (hummus, indian dishes, etc), black (burritos, hummus, ground up into a paste for pizza sauce, etc), pinto (see black) and kidney (stews, chilis, etc)

I have a pot and a crockpot and guess I am willing to cook them. How do I go about it. (I may be asking for a pressure cooker for Christmas. We'll see)

Help me out!

~ Kim

mama to E (01-2007) and wife to C

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Old 07-23-2007, 09:41 AM
 
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I cook beans in my crockpot. It's one of the few times I use the crockpot actually! I just put a pound of beans in my crock, fill with water, season, then turn on low all day. When I'm on the ball, I fill the crock with the beans and water overnight, soak, then pour off the water in the morning, fill back up, and then cook. They don't always get soaked in my house. But, I do try, cause supposedly, it makes the gaseous-ness go away.

A pound of beans cooks in about 8 hours for me.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:44 AM
 
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I just bought a lot of dried beans and have to figure out how to cook them too.
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat. I'd really love to be able to make more nutritious, meatless meals (cheap too!) using beans........but I've always bought them canned!

Maybe we can share recipes as we try them! I'm wanting to make some refried beans/mashed pintos and some stews and chili!
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:50 PM
 
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Good luck! We converted to dried for awhile, but dh convinced me to buy canned for the summer so as not to heat the whole house cooking them for hours, but we get so much less, I am ready to go back to dried. I will have to try the crockpot thing, I tried the pressure cooker, but I bought it used and it isn't htat efficient, better than a regular pot, but still takes a while. I would suggest getting one. I hope I can get a better one soon.

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Old 07-24-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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and, dont' add the salt till the end if you intend to use salt.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:12 PM
 
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So you cook up a big bag of beans... how do you store them? I love the idea, but they store so nicely in the cans. I suppose you can freeze them? Or could you put them in glass canning jars in the freezer?
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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I love to make beans. I usually make about 2 cups dried and we get a couple of meals out that. I store them in a plastic container in the fridge and they keep for about 3 days. Usually the first night I make enchiladas or tacos (beans seasoned with taco mix id dh's favorite) then the leftovers get used for homemade burritos or nachos. I like to make bean, rice and cheese burritos and serve it with a salad and maybe watermelon. Makes for a quick luch or dinner. I sometimes soak my beans overnight or for a few hours and then cook them on the stove at a simmer until soft. There is also a quick soak method in the Moosewood cookbook that says to bring the beans to a boil and then remove from heat cover and soak about 2 hrs. To be honest I don't notice a difference when I don't soak them.

You can make yummy refried beans by taking two jalepenos, cutting slits along the sides and cooking them in oil then combine the oil and beans in a skillet and mashing the beans. I use as little oil as possible and the beans come out with a wonderful flavor. I also like kidney beans as a side dish.
They are great because when cold you can put them on salad too.

I was also wondering how I could store more beans and have them keep. Dh suggested maybe I could can my own beans in a mason jar. He thought maybe it would work if I cooked the beans in the jar. I have no idea maybe someone here does.
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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I have all kinds of different cooked beans in the freezer in glass jars in meal sizes (lentils ready for soup, black beans ready for cuban dinner with plantain, pinto ready to accompany huevos in the morning, etc.).

I've tried cooking beans a TON of different ways and the best so far:

heat your crockpot to high and then turn it off (I just try to get it hot-however long that takes). Let it sit a few hours until the beans look really big. Rinse the beans with fresh water and add fresh water to the pot (I get bad gas otherwise). Cook until soft/skin peels back when blown on.

Then store in the fridge or freezer IN the cooking water (to cover). THEY KEEP WAY BETTER THIS WAY!

I make sure I have some thawing in the fridge at all times.

When you heat them up, you can drain the cooking liquid and add stock for flavor/nutrients and add garlic, cooked onion, heated cumin, wine, tomatoes, sauteed greens, etc.

My toddler loves drained plain beans with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (tiny bit) and salt. Can't get enough.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:55 PM
 
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I cook ~2 lbs of beans at at time, regardless of how much I'm looking for for a particular recipe. I then measure out 1.5 cups of cooked beans into a baggie (could use glass canning jars, I'm sure) and freeze whatever I don't need for that night's meal. 1.5 cups is what a can holds, so I am often able to use recipes that call for canned beans by pulling out a baggie from the freezer and defrosting it. I usually defrost by pouring warmish water over them; it helps if they've dried out a little.

I keep a few cans of beans in my basement 'in case of emergency' (read: occasional lack of planning), because even canned beans are generally cheaper than meat. Also, I tend to keep cans of things that I use too rarely to do a bunch from dried, like aduki beans.

Aven
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avendesora View Post
I cook ~2 lbs of beans at at time, regardless of how much I'm looking for for a particular recipe. I then measure out 1.5 cups of cooked beans into a baggie (could use glass canning jars, I'm sure) and freeze whatever I don't need for that night's meal. 1.5 cups is what a can holds, so I am often able to use recipes that call for canned beans by pulling out a baggie from the freezer and defrosting it.

This is what I do. I just bring my beans to a boil and then simmer, probably not the best method in terms of preserving texture but it works for us. I use a 7.25 qt dutch oven and it takes about an hour for black beans. I freeze them in either zippy bags or Gladware type containers. I have not switched to glass to store food (makes me very nervous with the slate floors in our kitchen) so the Gladware containers won't be missed as they accumulate in the freezer.

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