I know, I know…
Who has time to make beans from scratch? Who is going to remember to soak them overnight?
Well, wait just a minute.
What if you throw them in your slow cooker in the morning when you are making your coffee? What if you just turn it on and go on with your day while all that goodness cooks up? What if you make a big batch and freeze some for burrito bowls or black bean brownies another time?
Remember, beans are a great addition to your diet if you are trying to lose some “poundage” (they have a low glycemic index and are high in fibre so they keep your blood sugar down and keep your appetite in check by keeping you full longer!). They are considered a superfood because they are full of nutrients without fat, sugar or sodium (the benefit of not using canned beans which will have added sodium). They also have slow-burning good complex carbohydrates …good all around!
I buy my black beans dried and keep them in my pantry in mason jars (with the instructions tucked into the jar…in case I forget!). The other benefit of cooking your own beans is the price. Although canned beans are cheap, dried are even cheaper.
So, when the urge strikes you, take 2 cups of beans and throw them in your slow cooker.
Add 6 cups of water. Turn the slow cooker on to low and walk away…really!!
When you come home (about 4-6 hours later) the beans will be ready. You can do this with most beans but just be careful with red kidney beans because they have a toxin that is destroyed once they are cooked. However, because the slow cooker doesn’t reach a high enough temperature, it gets a bit tricky. To be on the safe side, just avoid using this method for red kidney beans (for more on this, you can read this article).
Now you have glorious beans ready for so many recipes. You can leave them in your fridge for a few days (I like to wilt some greens and onions in a pan with some olive oil and then throw in a handful of these; add a scoop of salsa and top with an egg and you have yourself a fantastic meal that will keep you full for hours!).
Also, when you have small bags of these beans in the freezer, you can add them to so many dishes for an extra punch of healthy protein (like to your meatloaf, or pureed in a tomato sauce to hide the protein for toddlers, or when you want a Mexican night like this, or just throwing them in your meatless Monday dinner).
Go on…get some “healthy” back in your life!!