A few months ago, I decided to switch from canned beans to dry. As a student who is concerned with the health, cost, and convenience of my food, beans are a nice staple to have around. However, I have a few problems with canned beans.
1. While they are cheap, dried are cheaper.
2. They are heavy, and it's hard to stock up when I have to walk home from the grocery store.
3. The amount of aluminum used for approximately 1.5 cups of cooked beans seemed wasteful to me.
4. Your average can of beans was probably not soaked before being cooked.
The answer seemed obvious—stop using canned beans. However, the few times I'd cooked dried beans or chickpeas on the stovetop, it had been an hours-long, messy ordeal. The solution? A crockpot. The method I now use is so effortless, the whole process takes less than 10 minutes of active time. Here's what to do.
1. Soak beans overnight.
You should use a 2:1 ratio of water to beans. This will reduce phytic acid (which blocks mineral absorption), and minimize the elements that cause gas.
2. Rinse and put in crockpot.
In the morning, rinse beans and pour them into a crockpot. Cover with fresh water, again at about a 2:1 ratio.
3. Turn on crockpot and leave.
If you want them to be done in 3-4 hours, set the crockpot to high. If you want them to be done in 6-7 hours, set the crockpot to low. It mostly depends on your schedule and what is most convenient for you. After all, convenience is our primary goal here.
After the allotted time is up, your beans should be done. Drain them, unless you're making soup, and use them in Buddha bowls (highly recommend), my black bean and mango chopped salad, black bean burritos, veggie burgers, or whatever other applications you dream up.
#SpoonTip: If you notice a colored residue staining your crockpot, scrub it with baking soda.