I was in a pinch one day when I was trying to make some soup and all I had was dried white beans. Ugh, I hate when I don’t have all of my ingredients, for some reason this happens to me ALOT. I heard stories from friends who had to cook their dried beans all day and when I say all day I mean literally all day. So I went looking how to make dried beans and I discovered a few things.
Things I discovered in my search for cooking dry beans:
-People pre-soak beans believing they will cook faster but in the slow cooker it’s really only a difference of 1 hour, which is not much if you think about 10hrs that went into the pre-soaking. So, pre-soaking them doesn’t really matter if you’re cooking them in the crockpot.
-I also recently read that it’s important to soak beans not for the purpose of it affecting your cooking time but because it removes the enzyme inhibitors and toxic substances that cause digestive issues and irritability in your stomach. I found this information here. So honestly, I’m not sure what’s best but regardless I would definitely drain the water from the cooked beans even if you don’t presoak them.
-Red kidney beans contain a natural toxin which may not be destroyed if your slow cooker doesn’t reach a high enough temperature. To be safe, red kidney beans should be pre-soaked, drained, and then boiled in fresh water for 10 minutes before cooking in the slow cooker.
-Drain the water from the cooked beans this liquid will have the undigestible carbs that cause gas.
I know canned beans usually don’t cost a whole lot of money but learning how to cook the dried beans is certainly a healthier alternative without all of the preservatives and what not.
So in light of this information this is how I cooked my white beans.
How to make beans in the crockpot:
- 2 cps of dried white beans = makes about 6 cups of cooked beans
- enough water to cover beans plus 3 inches more
optional: add a couple of slices of bacon and 1/2 an onion chopped to taste
As mentioned above you may want to soak them and rinse them before cooking. I have not but I may after reading the article above.
Cook for 5-6 hours on high. You can check them at 5 hours and leave in the full 6 hours if they still need more cooking time. Mine needed the full 6 hours but I’m also cooking them in high altitude.
Drain the liquid and serve or store in the fridge.
I’ve used my beans for tacos, to eat on my salad, as hummus, in white chicken chili, as dip… the possibilities are endless. I recently discovered that I can make my salads a bit more hearty with protein by adding beans to it. I’ve been doing that with white and garbanzo beans which are mild in flavor.
Here’s my delicious gringo chili, it’s what I call it.
And this amazing Spinach Hummus made with white beans. You can’t even tell that it’s not garbanzo beans.
Also, my crockpot cooks really high and we live in a high altitude region so I had to add more water about 3.5 hours into it, so if you’re going to be gone all day make sure you add lots more water. The extra water doesn’t effect the taste of the beans since you’ll be draining all the liquid.
If you’re not going to use all your cooked beans you can freeze them in plastic container for several months. Beans freeze well!