Beans in the Freezer

Friday, October 11, 2013

I used to think that using dried beans was a pain.  But now that I have a routine on how to cook them the whole process is much easier.  I currently have in bulk pinto, black, and small red beans. They are super easy to cook and then freeze in useable portions. I first put the dried beans on a cookie sheet and look them over to see if there are any rocks or small dirt clods.  I then put them in my crock pot and cover them with water.  The crock pot goes on high and I let them cook for several hours.  For my crock pot it is about 6 hours. You really don't have to do much more than than except to test the beans to see how soft they are towards the end of cooking time.  If I am going to freeze the beans then I don't cook them until they are falling apart because they will soften a bit more with the freezing and thawing.  If I am going to use them for refried beans then I will allow them more cooking time.  I then drain and let them cool before packaging them up for the freezer.

{Small red beans on a cookie sheet}

Normally, I don't mix beans.  I only do a pot of pintos or a pot of black beans.  You can mix beans and cook them together if the different types of beans are similar in size.  For example, I recently made this chili and decided to cook up a batch of beans all at once.  I didn't use the great northern beans that the recipe calls for.  I substituted them for small red beans.  It worked perfectly!

One piece of advice...NEVER, I mean NEVER add any salt to the beans until they are fully cooked.  Salt toughens the beans and prolongs the cooking time.  I have done this before, and it is miserable because the beans never seem to soften.

 {Pintos, black, and red beans in the crock pot}

Here is a list of recipes that we use beans in...


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