Monday, June 13, 2016

How to Prepare Dried Beans in the Slow Cooker

Makes approximately 2 cups/4 servings
Recipe from The Healthy Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This is such a convenient and economical way to prepare this high fiber, nutritional food. Prepared beans can be chilled for up to 5 days and frozen for 6 months.  This recipe may be doubled or tripled. You can follow this method to prepare other beans, such as kidney beans, navy beans, and chickpeas. 

Equipment:  You will need a bowl, a sieve or colander, measuring cup, and a 3½ to 6 quart slow cooker.

1 cup dried pinto beans (or other dried beans)
Kosher salt (optional)

*Aromatics such as fresh herbs, peppercorns, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, etc.… (Optional)

  1. Rinse and drain the dried beans in water.  Place the beans in a bowl.  Add water to cover 1 cup beans at least by 1 inch because the beans will expand as they soak.  (See photo.)
  2. Allow the beans to soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.   
  3. Drain the beans.  Place them in the slow cooker.  Add 3 cups of water to the slow cooker.
  4. (If you wish, you may add fresh herbs, garlic, onion, and/or kosher salt, etc.… to flavor the beans.)
  5. Cover and turn the slow cooker on LOW for 10-12 hours or overnight.  (You can cook the beans on HIGH for 5-6 hours.) 
  6. Drain and rinse the beans. 
  7. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate.   
You can also freeze the beans.
Here is a photo of a batch of pinto beans ready
to eat or use in a recipe.
  • If you are watching your sodium intake, it’s a good idea to prepare dried beans from scratch.  A half-cup serving of regular canned beans is likely to contain about 300 milligrams of sodium. 
  • All beans/legumes are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, zinc and calcium.  They are a low calorie, low fat vegetable protein.  They are a natural appetite suppressant; because they are digested slowly and cause a low, sustained increase in blood sugar, eating beans/legumes can delay the onset of hunger and make it easier to control appetite.

Nutritional Information for ½ cup serving:  154 Calories; 10.5 grams Protein; 27.6 grams Carbohydrates; 0.6 grams Fat; 8 grams Fiber; 2 mg. Sodium; 0 mg. Cholesterol

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