Out of all the money-saving tips and tricks I have learned, this one is hands-down one of my favorites. Making beans from scratch in the slow cooker is extremely easy and the results are super delicious. But best of all, mastering this method can help you save a lot of money.
I recently experimented with making three types of beans in a slow cooker: Chick peas (garbanzo beans), black beans and red kidney beans. Each type turned out really well, yielding similar (and in some cases, even better) flavor and texture than canned beans.
Here are the basic instructions to get you started. Please note that I used a 3.5-quart slow cooker for a one-pound bag of beans. If you are planning on making more than one pound at a time, you will need a larger crock.
Pro tip: Prepared beans freeze incredibly well. Simply rinse the cooked beans, remove as much moisture as possible and place in plastic freezer bags in desired quantities (I’d recommend one cup or two cups for easy measuring). When you’re ready to use them in a recipe, simply remove from the freezer and let them thaw (this will take a few hours in the fridge, one hour at room temperature).
How much did I save? A one-pound bag of chick peas yielded about seven cups of cooked beans. A 15-ounce can of chick peas contains a scant two cups of beans. To break the price difference down, slow cooker beans cost about 27 cents per cup. Canned beans cost about 67 cents per cup.
Have you tried making beans from scratch in the slow cooker? If so, do you have any extra tips to share?