Buying dried beans vs. canned beans can save quite a bit of money. One package of 16 oz of dried beans cost me $0.99. a 15.5 oz can of black beans costs $0.67. I wasn't actually sure how much a bag of dried beans would yield, so I prepared some to find out. I'm planning on using some for tonight's breakfast taco's, Saturday's Frank and Beans, and Sunday's Black Beans and Rice
....hmmm maybe I should re-order our meals so we're not eating black beans 3 days in a row...whoops!
I decided to start with 1 cup (8oz) of dried beans.
Step 1: Sort through the beans to find any damaged beans, rock (really?) or twigs (again, really?). I read this on a couple different sits, and I'm guessing this suggestion is more for if you're measuring out your own beans from a big bin or something
|Don't some of them look like raisins?!|
Now they are ready to cook! Depending on how old they are, they may take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours on a low simmer. Salt can be added to bring out their flavor. I think other things can be added too, more to learn about preparing beans!
For my batch, I actually realized I also had some leftover dried black beans from last FALL - another item I didn't need to purchase (see I'm not very good at this yet!). All that to say, my beans took quite a while to cook. First I set the timer for 45 minutes...still crunchy...I added another 30 minutes...almost there but not quite...20 more minutes on the clock and that did it. So 1 hour 35 minutes was how long it took me. I decided to add in a little more salt at the 20 minute mark too.
Step 4: So I lied, there is one more step. I measured out the soaked and cooked beans and the 1 cup of dried beans made 3 1/2 cups.
So a full 16 oz bag would yield 7 cups - or 3 1/2 cans...a savings of about $1.35. Not huge, but it's something. I think I can find dried beans cheaper, but I'll have to figure that part out later.
Here's my batch that's going in to the fridge
It's a pretty easy and CHEAP process, just takes some time! Next time I think I'll cook the whole bag at a time, or even a larger quantity. I can freeze what I'm not going to use and save time in the long run.