How to Soak + Cook Dried Beans

>> Saturday, July 12, 2014

You guys know I use a lot of canned beans and tomatoes in my cooking. Holy BPA, right? I'm trying to change my ways for my own health -- as well as my family's. Well, I am happy to report that -- after much experimentation -- I found the "trick" for rehydrating dried beans so I can banish the cans for good (and save a little money in the process).

PS: I bought these beans at Aldi.

#1: SOAK

Basically, I wasn't soaking them nearly long enough. The back of most bags says to soak beans 6-8 hours or overnight. I was definitely sticking to the 6-hour limit and frustrated when my cooked beans were still crunchy.

So, I decided to let them soak a full 24 hours. Magic!


I had even read online that adding a little baking soda (2-3 tablespoons) to the cooking water, along with salt, can help soften beans. Definitely worked like a charm for me. I simmered my 24-hour soaked beans for around 45 minutes to an hour before draining them again and rinsing until the water came out clear.

I usually use some right away, but for the rest? I freeze!


Since I make larger batches (to eliminate having to do the whole process multiple times), I like to freeze my beans. I just scoop them out into Ball jars, leaving a couple inches of headroom. I let the beans cool to room temperature and place in the refrigerator overnight before placing them in my upright freezer with the lids -- these reusable caps work great -- on tight.

Anyway, this method has been working out great for me. But I know some of you follow other methods -- like slow cooking, etc. -- and I'd love to hear what gets the best results for you!


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