Crock-Pot Basic Beans
Ahhh beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat them, the more you….well you know the rest right?
This recipe is my go-to recipe for Crock-Pot Basic Beans, dried beans are so frugal and really they could not be any easier. Some folks like to soak their beans before they cook them but I usually don’t. Unless you are cooking Kidney beans I don’t really see the need to soak before cooking.
However, Kidney beans contain something in them that is toxic and requires them to be soaked before cooking.
But any other bean…pinto beans, butter beans, black beans, you name it they all can be cooked with this method.
The recipe starts with some dried beans of your choice. Sort your beans before starting to remove any beans that are shriveled or just weird looking and look for any stones. Yes, your bags of dried beans may contain small rocks and stones that were not sorted out in the sorting process at the bean factory.
My step grandma Ruth cooked pinto beans just about every day she was alive and I actually have pretty fond memories of my sister Melissa and I sitting at the table sorting through a 25 lb bag of pinto beans. It may have seemed like a lot of work but we made the most of it gabbing and chattering as small girls often do. And when we were done Grandma Lopez would reward us with a hot tortilla smeared with honey butter as a treat.
And buying beans in bulk is the way to go to save you some serious cash!
So once your beans are all sorted, give them a quick rinse in a colander with some cold water and dump them into a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker and cover them with water by about 3 inches.
I like to add a tablespoon or two or three of garlic (we love garlic) and some salt and pepper to my beans to add some flavor. Beans cooked plain are OK but they can be rather bland. Up to you if you want to include those things or not but I recommend you do for some tasty beans.
Then cover your crock-pot and turn it on low and let it cook a good 8 to 10 hours until you beans are tender.
Once they are cooked you can then use them in any recipe that calls for cooked or canned beans. And what I like to do is toss my beans into some freezer containers, give then a label (I use masking tape and a Sharpie pen) and pop them into the freezer. Then when I need beans for something like burritos or chili I have them ready to go. A quick zap in the microwave thaws them out.
This recipe really is a cornerstone type recipe because you can use your cooked beans in so many ways and it is the epitome of being frugal.