My husband spent four months in Costa Rica after college being an international playboy, as he likes to call it. Due to said time in Costa Rica, he became very good at cooking dried beans. Before I met him, my beans always came from a can. I still use the occasional can of beans for convenience sake, but try to make my own whenever possible. They freeze extremely well, are super budget friendly, and taste amazing!
Our house has a gas range, which I love for cooking, but am not such a big fan of leaving on all day long. Especially since I'll be having little ones around the house soon, an open flame burning all day is much less appealing to me. Therefore, we decided to experiment with making our beans in the crock pot. After doing some reading online, I determined we did not need to soak the beans over night before cooking them this way. So here is our recipe for delicious homemade beans.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 Anaheim chiles, sliced (I had these on hand, so decided to use them. They are completely optional.)
- 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I used avocado oil.)
- 1 Tbsp. salt (You may increase or decrease the salt amount as you like.)
- 2 lbs. dried small red beans
- Chop and slice all of your veggies. Wash the beans, using a colander and cold water.
- Put all ingredients in the crock pot and add enough water to cover the beans plus two inches. (More water may need to be added as the beans cook. Just make sure the beans are covered at all times.)
- Give the contents a good stir.
- Cook on High for ~10 hrs. Stir occasionally throughout cooking time.
- When beans are al dente, turn crock pot off and let cool. Package in freezer bags or plastic containers.
Yummmm! This is probably the best batch of beans we've ever made. In fact, they were so good, we ate them right after they came out of the crock pot with some taco chips for dinner. And then had them again for breakfast the next morning. Due to said eating, we only ended up with 6 - 2 cup bags to freeze for later. But had we not, we would have had 8 bags of beans to freeze. Not bad, considering the dried beans cost less than $3 for the 2 lb. bag. Adding the veggies to the beans makes for great flavor, but if you're trying to really be budget conscious, you could do them plain with just oil and salt. You could also do just onions or garlic, which both tend to be very inexpensive veggies to buy and add great flavor all on their own.