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Preparing and freezing beans

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I cook bean dishes at least three times a week, which means that we go through a lot of beans.  (Aren’t beans and rice the ultimate GF pair?)  I would be broke if I bought all of my beans in cans/tins, so I buy my beans dry in 2 kilo bags.  I do like the convenience of having beans ready whenever I need them, so I’ve developed a way making dry beans more convenient. 

I take about one afternoon every two weeks, when I know I am going to be home, to prepare beans and freeze them.  I start by soaking about 1 lb/ 500 g of beans overnight, then I rinse them and put them in my pressure cooker.  I cover them with cold, unsalted water, secure the top, and boil them gently for less than an hour.  When the beans are done, then I just drain them in a colander, dump them into a freezer bag, and put them in the freezer.  Sometimes the beans do freeze together in the bag, but I just take my meat mallet and smack the bag a few times to break them up.

Now, when I need beans, I just open the freezer bag and measure one heaping cup for every tin of beans in the recipe.  I don’t even bother thawing out the beans, unless they are going into an uncooked dish.  This is much more convenient than tinned beans, which have to be opened, drained, rinsed, and drained again.  It is also much cheaper, as I can get a 2 kilo bag of beans (about five pounds) for what it would cost me for four tins of beans.  Finally, it saves both time and energy, since I am not cooking beans every time I need them. 

Does anyone else have any bean preparation tricks?


About Kara

I am what happens when you combine a WWII enthusiast, an environmentalist and a frugal celiac/coeliac.

One response »

  1. I soak beans overnight in salt water. America’s Test Kitchen recommends 3 tablespoons of salt to a gallon of water. I use less than half that amount of salt. I then cook the beans in fresh water for several hours in a slow cooker that brings it to a boil eventually. This is a newer crockpot. Our oldest one doesn’t boil anything. I usually cook half a pound at a time, in a 2 quart crockpot. I have done a pound in a 3-1/2 quart pot.
    I got the information on cooking beans in a crockpot from Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin.


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