So what’s the deal with using dried beans rather than the canned kind? I had asked that question for a long time before actually doing it because I thought it was too time consuming and didn’t really make that much of a difference, boy was I wrong! Here are just a few reasons why dried beans are much better than canned:
1. Price. Buying dried beans in incredibly inexpensive. 1 can beans = Almost 2 cups and costs on average $1.00. 1lb dried beans = Almost 8 cups and costs on average $1.00. You do the math.
2. Sodium. Canned food is loaded with sodium where as you can determine how much salt you use when making your own.
3. Taste. I eat a lot of beans and there is no doubt that dried beans taste far better and more fresh than the canned variety.
4. Environment. Using dried beans is much better for Mother Earth than the processing it takes to can, ship, distribute, etc. canned beans.
5. Ease. Most people think it is so much easier to just buy canned beans, well sorry guys but with this recipe you can no longer use that excuse. Two steps, go to sleep and you wake up with delicious meal!
- 1lb bag of any kind of bean (for this recipe I prefer white beans i.e. cannelini, great northerns, etc. I use a slightly different recipe for pinto, black, etc.)
- 6-8 cups of water
- ½ cup white onion, diced
- ½ cup celery, diced
- ½ cup carrot, diced *Note: Trader Joes has a soup starter that has these three ingredients already diced for you for an even easier option.
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and cloves kept whole
- 32oz vegetable broth + more water if needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak 1lb dried beans in 6-8 cups of water for about 8 hours. Helpful hint: Place beans in a bowl of water right before you are about to leave for work or if you are doing the quick soak method do this about an 1.5 hours before going to bed.
- Remove and beans or shells that float to the top. Drain and rinse soaked beans.
- Combine vegetables, vegetable broth (and extra water if needed), garlic and rinsed beans in a crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Helpful hint: Just turn it on right before you head off to bed.
- After about 8 hours, check beans and season with salt pepper and any other spice of choice. I like to add some hot paprika to mine! Cook until beans are the texture you want them.
Serving suggestion: Serve as a soup or drain and use on top of salads, as a side dish or in other recipes.