In my quest to reduce my grocery bill but still feed my family nurishing food, I'm discovering different ways to shop and prepare food. My latest adventure is beans. I've always bought canned beans for chilli, soup, and other recipes. The few times I tried to use dried beans, my family ended up eating crunchy chilli. Yuck.
I decided to research how to process beans and make them easier to use in recipes and more pleasant to eat.
My favorite source for info is Rodale. Their Stocking Up book is a great resource for cooking, canning, freezing, and drying food for your family.
Here's what I worked on yesterday. I purchased three kinds of beans. Black, kidney, and great northern. I placed them in individual bowls in the morning.
Here are the black beans and white beans after they've had a soak for 8 hours. Be sure to fill the bowl with enough water to cover the beans plus an extra 2-3 inches of water because the beans will exand. Look how the black beans turn the water black. (don't worry, you'll drain it off)
Next, I drained the beans in a colander and rinsed them well. Then I spread them onto cotton kitchen towels to dry a bit. Notice the black beans in the background.
After they dried a bit (1 hour) I place them in labeled freezer bags. I cooked the kidney beans for 2 hours and put them in the yummy chili we had for dinner. And no, they weren't crunchy this time. By freezing the soaked beans, they'll cook faster when I need them for my next recipe. (probably 1 hour instead of 2)
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