It’s the weekend. Time to chill out and do my usual. Cook.
I don’t eat a lot of canned foods but I do keep a variety of canned beans on hand for quick vegetarian meals. As convenient as canned beans can be, nothing beats cooking my own dried beans. I love that I can control the flavor, salt and even the texture of the beans. Here I’ll show you how to make slow cooker black beans but you can also use this method to cook kidney beans or pinto beans among others.
This is a non-recipe, recipe. It’s just the way I do it. Feel free to add whatever you want… BUT if you want your beans to soften, wait until they are cooked to add the salt. That’s the biggest tip I can give you.
Basic Slow Cooker Black Beans
- 1 lb dried black beans
- 1 medium onion halved or quartered
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed slightly
- 1 large bay leaf or 2 small ones
- water to cover the beans about 5-6 cups
- salt to taste I used 1 teaspoon
- That means – go through the beans while they are dry to remove any odd beans, stones or other stuff you wouldn’t want to eat. Rinse the beans - about 3 passes until the water is clear.
- Add ingredients from the black beans to the water to the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Once beans are cooked to desired tenderness, add the salt. Serve over rice or quinoa, make refried beans or soup. Freeze extra cooked beans in freezer safe bags for up to 3 months.
As I’m usually cooking for one, I always have a lot of beans leftover. I freeze half of the batch just after I cook the beans and eat the rest throughout the week in different ways. Frozen beans can be used in recipes weeks or months away.
Here are a couple of my recent recipes for black beans that you might enjoy:
Spicy Black Bean Soup with Ancho Chile Pepitas
Black Bean Fried Quinoa