I may have gone a bit overboard on the first major dry bean purchase.
Well, my local wholesale club has forced my hand to do something I've been meaning to do for a long time now: buy more dried beans. I rarely do this because canned beans are so easy! But, dried beans are healthier and much cheaper. It just takes a bit of a time investment to prepare them. I used to buy canned black beans by the flat at the wholesale club, so it was relatively cheap. But, alas, they stopped stocking them! I have no clue why as I'm sure I could've supported a few employees on my black bean purchases over the years.
So, when I made Black Beans and Rice with Sausage, I used up the last of my precious cans of black beans. Here we go, I thought, buying a can at a time at the grocery store. And then I remembered dry beans and wanting to make the switch.
I learned the technique I use over at Crockpot 365. It's really easy and all it takes is a little forethought. You can get about 3 15-oz. cans worth of beans out of a 16-oz. bag of dried beans. Go to Stephanie O'Dea's site for more detailed instructions, but the bottom line is, soak the beans overnight in the crock-pot (with the heat off). In the morning, dump the bean-colored water out. Put the beans and about 2-3 inches of water back in the crock-pot and cook on low for 8 hours. So, it's a day-long process, but it's really beneficial. Freezing and storage instructions are also detailed at Crockpot 365 as well.
I'm off to soak by black-eyed peas in preparation for my New Year's Day dish.
This post is linked at Tip Day Thursday.
UPDATE: I've found with a few beans, rinsing, then immediately skipping to the cooking process (without the 8-hour soak) yields better results for us. This is particularly true with garbanzo beans/chickpeas, which get super squishy if you do the soak and cook. I definitely prefer the texture from skipping the 8-hour soaking process.