The price of canned beans has gone up over the last couple of years. Occasionally you can find a good sale or a great coupon, but most the time it is much more frugal to cook dried beans than to use a can of beans.
One pound of dried black beans makes the equivalent of 4 cans of beans. I stock up on dried beans when they go on sale because during that time I can by a pound of beans for less than a can of cooked beans.
How to Cook Dried Beans
Some methods for cooking beans call for soaking the beans overnight. But you can great reduce the soaking time by soaking them in heated water instead.
One Hour Bean Soaking Method
You can use this method in place of soaking beans overnight.
- Add 1 pound of beans to a large pot and cover with water.
- Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat, place lid on pot and let sit for 1 hour.
- Drain and rinse the beans. Proceed with the rest of the directions.
Methods for Cooking Dried Beans:
A can of beans usually contains 1 3/4 cups of beans. I cook beans in bulk and then freeze the extra in 1 3/4 cups quantities. If you don't have extra storage containers, you can freeze them in plastic bags. Lay them flat to freeze. You can stack them once frozen to save space. Then when a recipe calls for a can of beans you just grab your home cooked beans. I usually thaw my beans in the microwave before adding them to recipes.
If you have avoided beans because they make someone in your family gassy, you may what to try following these directions for How to Degas Beans.
Once you have cooked the dried beans, try using them in some of these Frugal Bean and Rice Recipes.