When last we left, I had set a few goals, including coming up with new recipes and posting them.
I’m counting this one, because I did not search out recipes in advance to see if it would work. The beans had been sitting around in my cupboard for far too long and I thought it would be nice to prep a batch and have them on hand. Freezing them for future use means I can make a small meal with beans and not have to worry about trying to eat a huge amount before they go bad.
Making beans in the way takes some advanced planning and just a little active worth and has a big payout. The store where I get beans sells these in bulk for $1.95 a pound, so even if my plan did not work out it would not be a bit waste of money.
Why soak the beans?
I mentioned a similar process before when I posted my tutorial on sprouting lentils. Soaking beans is a traditional method of preparation which makes the beans more digestible and the body can more easily absorb the “enhanced by impressive stores of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and molybdenum, as well as B vitamins such as folate and thiamine. All legumes contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, with kidney and pinto beans particularly high in omega-3. (from the linked article)
If you want to boost the nutritional content further you can cook the beans in homemade bone broth as well.
While the soaking does take time, putting everything together to soak takes minutes and can be left to its own devices. Using a slow cooker also means not having to tend to a pot and worry about scorching. A win-win arrangement if you ask me.
I was inspired to use apple cider vinegar to soak based on my friend Lindsay’s recipe for black beans. A fruit-based acid will impart extra flavor on to the beans and add character to any dish.
What I did with this batch was freeze portions in quart bags and cover with enough liquid to keep the beans themselves from getting freezer burns. Now they are ready to be defrosted at any time! And the best part, they taste great!
You can use these beans as is for a side dish, or you can try one of the following recipes:
Black bean soup from Thankful Expressions
Another black bean soup from The Homesteading Hippy
Black bean cake from Blue Viola Farm
Tortilla soup from Don’t Waste the Crumbs
Pizza black beans from The Granola Mommy
Or you can take the soaked, uncooked beans to make a variation of traditional natto.
Slow Cooker Black Beans
2 cups black turtle beans, dried.
Water to cover.
2 tablespoons of acid, like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice
5-6 garlic cloves
8-10 cups water, broth, or a mix of both liquids
1 slow cooker
Total preparation time: 24-36 hours
Active preparation time: 10 minutes
1. 12-24 hours before you plan to cook, place beans in a bowl with room temperature water to cover and acid for soak.
2. After beans finish soaking, drain and rinse.
3. Place rinsed beans in slow cooker with water/broth, one whole onion cut in half, and crushed garlic cloves.
4. Set slow cooker on low for 12 hours and leave to cook.
5. To store, freeze in bags with enough cooking liquid to cover from freezer burn. Remove onion and garlic before freezing.
I’m sharing this post at Real Food Friday, Simple Saturday, Simple life Sunday, Motivation Monday, Natural Living Monday, Homestead Barn Hop, Real Food Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways!