Since starting this diet, I have definitely gained a serious appreciation for the littles ways that help save money. And one of the biggest ways to save money when you are eating a natural foods diet is to cook your own beans.
Trust me, I know how nice it is to just be able to open a can of beans and be good to go…. but! The amount of savings you benefit from by using dried beans is phenomenal. Especially when you factor in the additional expense of buying organic beans.
One (15-ounce) can non-organic beans is approximately $1.50
One (15-ounce) can organic beans is approximately $2.00
1 pound non-organic dried beans is approximately $1.40 or less (yields about 3 cans worth.)
1 pound organic dried beans is approximately $2.50 (yields about 3 cans worth.)
Not only are making your own beans cheaper, but they are healthier since there are no added preservatives or canning contaminants (like BPA).
And making them in the slow cooker makes the task so simple!
You can make a whole bags-worth at once and then portion them out into can-sized servings (2 cup with liquid) into ziplock bags and freeze. That way they will be on hand when you need them for any and all tasks : )
You can do this with any kind of bean too- not just black beans!
So if you are lucky enough to have a nice big freezer (which I am not…) then you could have a whole variety of frozen beans stashed for when the mood strikes ; )
- 1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Drain the soaked black beans in a colander and rinse.
- Place black beans, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and water or stock in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3. Beans are ready when they are completely tender and the skin peels back when blown upon.
- Once beans are ready, remove onion, garlic, and bay leaves; add salt.
- Use immediately or store in freezer bags (one 15-ounce can is about 2 cups black beans with liquid).