One of my goals for the new year is to save money on groceries, and I love figuring out new ways to save money on things I buy all the time. My family eats a ton of beans every year, and although canned beans are pretty inexpensive, they add up if you eat them as often as we do. I've cooked with dried beans before (my favorite way to use them is in these delicious refried beans) but never really used them as a replacement for canned beans. I've always wanted to cook them myself, but rarely do I plan ahead enough to soak them in advance. And then one day I stumbled across this article, and my mind was blown. I don't even need to soak them and they still turn out great? Sweet!
I put it to the test, and let me tell you, these beans are perfect. They're less mushy than canned beans, with a better flavor, and perfect for using in any recipe calling for canned beans. They're also great for freezing! I put mine into these plastic canning containers, and just pop them out of the freezer to thaw whenever I need a can of beans. The best part is that I got the equivalent of four cans of beans for the price of one can. I found dried beans for about $0.89/pound, which is about the price of a can of beans at my grocery store. Awesome!
How to Cook Dried Beans
1 pound dried beans (I used great northern beans)
8 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
Rinse the beans in warm water and pick out any debris. Add the beans to a dutch oven or heavy saucepan. Add the warm water and salt. Heat the pot over medium high heat until the mixture reaches a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until the beans are tender. Start testing the beans after about an hour with a fork to check if they are tender. Store the beans with their cooking liquid to preserve their plumpness.