A few years back my step mom was diagnosed with diabetes and stopped eating foods high in carbohydrates. She and my dad unloaded their cupboards and gave me oats, noodles, and dry beans. A few years before that a roommate of mine worked at a restaurant that made daily soups and when they went out of business, she got to take home a souvenir; the largest glass jar I’ve ever seen and it was full of beans! I inherited the bean jar when she got married and moved out of the house.

Since then I have learned how to cook with dry beans and haven’t bought a can of cooked beans since. Dry beans are inexpensive, very healthy, and so versatile. They also create much less waste than canned beans since they come in bags or in bulk.

My favorite method of cooking is to put them in the crock pot over night with lots of water and some salt. I usually cook 4 cups (dry) at a time. In order to have beans cooked and on hand when I need them, like a can, I will freeze some beans in 1 or 2 cup measurements. When I need beans for a meal, I can quickly thaw a “batch.”  

Sometimes when I am cooking my beans in the crockery, I will add some herbs or sauces, so that the beans are ready for a meal. The easiest flavors to add are BBQ sauce, Curry powder, Taco seasoning, garlic and onion, or a ham bone.

Beans are so great! I eat them often, in place of meat. My toddler loves them too, so it’s an easy was to get some healthy goodness into his little belly.