How to Cook Dried Beans in Your Slow Cooker

In Three Easy Steps

how to cook dried beans

My friend Katie has long since told me the values of using dried beans instead of canned-not only do they taste better, but they are far cheaper and have much less sodium.  Still, I found using dried beans a lot of work until I read “The Best of Bridge Slow Cooker” cookbook and found out how to make dried beans in a crock pot!  It’s so easy, and you don’t feel chained to your stove.  

  Pick through your beans to get rid of any pebbles or bits of dirt.  Measure them into your slowcooker and then cover them with three times their volume with water. For example, 1 cup of beans would be covered with three cups of water. Soak the beans overnight on your counter with the slowcooker off, and drain them in the morning.

  Re-measure the beans, since they will have picked up water and swollen.  Cover them with three times their volume of water again. Add some bay leaves and some sprigs of fresh herbs, like thyme, parsley, rosemary, or sage.  Don't add salt or your beans will be tough. Turn on the slowcooker and cook on high for about 4-5 hours, or low for 10-12 hours. Keep an eye on them so they don't become over cooked and mushy.

  When the beans are cooked, drain the water off and you can use them or freeze the beans in plastic containers or freezer bags to be used later in the week.

She may go by the name Scatteredmom online, but Karen really is anything but scattered when it comes to the kitchen.  Churning out tasty treats within view of the Georgia Strait on Canada's west coast, Karen will hand you an organized weekly meal plan or teach you how to make meals from scratch.  As Mom to a teenage boy, she knows exactly what it takes to keep kids full and happy-which has really come in handy with her job as the Food Editor at Yummy Mummy Club.

A strong supporter of Food Revolution who has been endorsed by Jamie Oliver himself, by day Karen can be found working as a special education teaching assistant, running a kitchen and showing teenagers how to cook nutritious meals for themselves.  By night, when she's not chatting on Twitter and answering cooking questions,  she writes her popular blog Notes From the Cookie Jar, or posting mouthwatering recipes over at Chasing Tomatoes.  Not afraid to give her opinion and passionate about community, Karen spoke at Blissdom Canada 2010 and her writing has been published in Canadian Living magazine, as well as in various online publications. 

Follow Karen on Twitter @scatteredmom