How To Save With Beans

How pleased I am to share this soon-to-be-weekly post with you. Certainly the idea of GIVING BACK helps me move through the world. And certainly the way I best do this is by feeding people. Or at least teaching them how to feed themselves.

Thrifty Thursdays will focus on all the goodies to be had out there – for cheap. Cheap as in “inexpensive” or “free”. Yep. Every single person deserves to be nourished and so much of it comes down to skill.


I just taught a Bean Cooking Class at the Local Market Co-Op here in Stratford this past Sunday. The focus of the class had to be seasonal, local and thrifty. Easy for me. Beans are already a thrifty purchase. For something so nutrient & fibre-packed – you get a big bang for your buck.

One of my greatest thrift-tips when using beans…. making a lot of them at once. This is for 3 reasons.

  1. It saves loads of future time.
  2. It saves money like crazy.
  3. It’s better for ya (and tastes better, too).

My favourite way of doing this, once I’ve soaked my beans, (always with *Kombu), is to cook in my giant slow cooker. (You may prefer a pot in the oven or a pressure cooker.) Once they’ve cooked and cooled I freeze them in 2 cup portions by sticking portions in a ziplock bag, lying flat and freezing in a big ol’ pile. This makes thawing quick and easy, and you won’t ever have to buy a BPA-lined or expensive can of beans ever again. Wah la!!!

Thrift Tip: Make large batches of beans (from scratch) and freeze in 2-cup portions.

2 cup portion Aduzki Beans

my beloved Aduzki Beans – 2 cup portions for the freezer – better than a can

(*Kombu is a sea vegetable that contains the enzyme needed to break down the starch in beans that causes gas – soaking and cooking beans with a piece of this makes beans more digestible)

P.S. The longer you soak (2 days or longer is best) and the slower you cook (all day in a slow cooker or oven) the less gas will be an issue. This may seem time-consuming. But not if you make enough at once. Happy bean making!!

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7 Responses to How To Save With Beans

  1. April April 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    How much water do I put in the slowcooker with the beans? What is the water to bean ratio? Just cook on low for 12 hours?

    • nourish April 11, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

      April, I soak the beans 3:1 water:beans. After draining and rinsing I COOK them at that ratio, as well. The long soak helps even more than the long cook, I find. You can even change the water a couple times while soaking. And yes, I do it LOW for the desired time.

  2. Lu Anne Million April 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Can you get the Kombu at the Heath Food Store?

    • nourish April 11, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Yes, Lu Anne. Definitely. There are a variety of sea vegetables to choose one – kombu is my favourite choice for beans.

  3. Lally Cadeau April 11, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    This is a great idea. I don’t often consume beans because of IBS, but, using the Kombu sounds terrific. I wonder if Hing would do the same thing? Asfoetida….

    • nourish April 11, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

      Asfoetida is super for helping de-gas beans – i use a pinch of it, always. I like the Kombu though – not only does it help with digestion but it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.

  4. Connie April 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    I use 1 tbsp of baking soda to cook my beans with… I got the idea from a old church cookbook. It helps reduce gas also.

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