For years, I have wanted to ditch the cans and make beans from dried. It was my new year’s resolution for too many years. When I was writing my book, we talked about including recipes for dried beans, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I was recipe testing for a local restaurant and we were really struggling with a recipe for white Tuscan beans.

And now? Well, maybe you can help. It seems that I have found some recipes that are pretty easy, but if you test them with me, maybe we can find out if it’s as easy as it seems. Beans are temperamental, at least that’s what we found with those pesky white beans. We just couldn’t get it consistent. Maybe I have just been lucky, maybe it really is that easy, I guess time (and your help) will tell.

So, why cook from dried?

It’s cheaper.

It tastes way better.

Texture is way better.

It makes you seem way hardcore in the world of healthy cooking.

Garbanzo Beans

I’m not going to pretend to be the chickpea master. I found a recipe from Frugal Living NW.

It worked.

I am a convert.

garbanzo beans2

Since I made them, I’ve been snacking on them. Go to the fridge, grab a few, and enjoy the firm creaminess that is garbanzo beans.

I never thought I would say that.

Black and Pinto Beans

I have been using recipes from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday. Love, love, love this cookbook. I have adapted them in terms of flavor components. My advice: use what you like and what you have on hand. At the very least, add onion and garlic.

Slow Cooker Method

In a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan, combine 1 pound (2 [1/2] cups) dried beans with 2 quarts cold water- or at least enough water that they are covered by 2 inches. Over high heat, bring to a rolling boil.

Transfer to a slow cooker and add flavor components: I liked smashed, peeled garlic cloves, roughly chopped red onion, a bay leaf , and dried chile peppers.

Cook on low for 4-8 hours. Bayless claims that it takes closer to 6-10, but my beans have been cooking faster, closer to 4. Check the texture and keep in mind, they will get softer if you add them to soups or chili. You can add salt at the end if you wish.

Stovetop

In a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan, combine 1 pound (2 [1/2] cups) dried beans with 2 quarts cold water- or at least enough water that they are covered by 2 inches. Over high heat, bring to a rolling boil.

Reduce to low heat and add flavor components. Cover partially and simmer for 1 [1/2] – 2 [1/2] hours, checking texture. You can add salt at the end if you wish.

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Who else makes beans from dried? Want to add any tips?

 

 

 

 

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