Canned beans are a staple in my house. I use them for soups, Mexican dishes and more Mexican dishes. I am trying to keep Tuesdays, Mexican themed, Taco Tuesday. This simplifies my meal planning and takes the guess work out of what I'm going to prepare one day.
Now I know canned beans are inexpensive, especially at Aldi. If you have never been to Aldi, you should do yourself a favor and get there. So many different items and many are a healthier version of what you may already buy, and cheap!!! This isn't rocket science at all, but I got the idea from sister #3 who eats a lot of beans, ha! I bought a 2-pound bag of dried black beans from Aldi, soaked them, cooked them, and portioned them out in freezer bags for future meals. It was the easiest thing; the crockpot does all the work!!
Let me break it down for you; I know I like specific instructions too.
I poured them all in the crockpot and covered with water to soak all afternoon; it's recommended at least 8 hours. After a few hours, the water had gone down, and the beans were bigger, what?! I had no idea this was going to happen! I added more water and let them continue to soak. After roughly 6 hours I drained and rinsed the beans and added back to crockpot and covered with water again. This is the part I didn't think thoroughly through…. It was about 5 or 6 in the evening, and I knew the beans needed to cook on low 6-8 hours. I'm not about to stay up until 11 pm for my beans to cook, then let them cool, to put away in the freezer. No worries, I just let them continue to sit and soak in water until about 9 pm then I turned the crockpot on low and let them cook all night. When I woke up, they were bubbling beautifully and soft just as I had hoped. I dipped them all out, into a 9x13 pan, let them cool a while and put them into 1 ½ cup portions in freezer bags and voila!! I chose 1 ½ cup portions because most cans of beans are roughly 15 ounces, but 2 cups in the bag seemed like a lot. I did make two bags with 2 cup portions, which would be perfect to toss in soup.
Yes, I know buying canned beans is simpler, but something about doing it this way seemed just as simple. It came out to be about 12 cups of beans once they cooked, and the most time-consuming part was dipping them into bags; not too hard in my opinion.
What do you like to do to prepare for meals?
I find it pleasing and productive when I do something like this or even have a meal in the freezer from a previous night.