Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cooking Dried Beans in a Crock Pot


It occurred to me today, as I was running around like a crazy person trying to get stuff done over Spring Break, that it should be possible to cook dried beans in a crock pot. That would free me from hovering near the stove watching a pot of beans cook for an hour and a half. So I hopped onto Google and what did I find? Many, many recipes for cooking dried beans in a crock pot! Eureka! If I loved my crock pot before, I love it even more now.

Tonight I relaxed while my crock pot took care of a pound of Great Northern Beans. Tomorrow I will turn those beans into White Bean Dip with Sage for snacking and Quinoa Veggie Burgers for dinner. Why, it almost feels like I'm on vacation.

Cooking beans in a crock pot
There are two ways you can do this (soaking tips gleaned from The Bean Institute, cooking tips gleaned from Iowa State University). First, sift through your beans and discard the nasties (stones, twigs, ugly beans that don't look right, etc.).

1) Soak a pound of dried beans overnight. Drain and rinse, then place in at least a 4 quart crock pot. (If you are using kidney beans, first boil them for 10 minutes to release their toxins and then place them in the crock pot.) Cover the beans with water by 2 inches. Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and a sprig of fresh herb such as rosemary or thyme if desired. Cover and cook on high for three hours. Drain and cool.

2) If your GI tract is sensitive to beans* (as is DH's), do a "hot soak" overnight, which helps reduce the hard-to-digest sugars in the beans. Place the beans in a pot, bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 3 minutes (boil kidney beans for 10 minutes). Remove from heat, cover, and let stand overnight. Drain and rinse, then place in at least a 4 quart crock pot. Cover the beans with water by 2 inches. Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and a spring of fresh herb such as rosemary or thyme if desired. Cover and cook on high for three hours. Drain and cool.

*I love making bean soups and noticed if I followed the directions for cooking beans found in Essential Pasta and Pizza, DH complained less about the bean's side effects. If you want to cook your dried beans on the stove, do this: soak the beans overnight. Drain and rinse. Cover the beans with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, skimming off the foam as needed. Drain and rinse again. Cover the beans with water by two inches. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

**I recommend cooking beans in a slow cooker on high to prevent Phytohaemagglutinin poisoning. Better safe than sorry!

2 comments:

Ina said...

Erin - thanks for the great info on cooking beans. I will try the soaking, double cooking method next time too! :)

Nicole said...

Very cool! I have a hard time with beans (unfortunately because I LOVE them!). I'm going to try the overnight soak plus crock cooking and see if it helps.