Ball Plastic Freezer Jars
Ball® Plastic 16-Ounce Freezer Jars help vegan cooks store freshly cooked dried beans easily. Simply fill, lock, stack and store! Jars are stackable and lock together for a tidy freezer. Easy twist-on lids keep the cooked beans fresh.
Contains 4 (16- ounce) Plastic Freezer Jars
with Twist-On Lids.
• Dishwasher safe – top rack
• Stain resistant
• Do not microwave
• Does not contain bisphenol A (BPA)
How to Store Cooked Beans
• Enjoy Now or refrigerate
cooked beans for 3-5 days
• Freeze – up to 6 months
The new Ball® Plastic 16-Ounce Freezer Jar allows you to store cooked dried beans and a myriad of sauces too! I suggest purchasing the 8-Ounce size too!
The Vegan Basics How To Cook Dried Beans
Buy Great Beans
Inspect whatever beans you plan on purchasing from your market. The surface of the bean should be smooth, firm, uniform in size and color... in fact the colors of the beans should be bright. Avoid any beans that are broken, blistered looking, wrinkled or shriveled.
The beans listed in the chart below are only the basics. There are other hybrid beans and heirloom varieties that can be found on the internet, by special order from your market, or catalogs. Bob's Red Mill for the BEST in Beans.
Dried Bean Math
Since dry beans must rehydrated, they will expand to about 2 1/2 times their dried measure size.
How to Store Dried Beans
Dried beans can be stored in plastic bags or containers in a cool, dry cabinet, drawer or shelf. High humidity and temperatures are BAD for dried beans. And beans that are OLD will never cook correctly. I would only keep dried beans for a year.
The Dried Bean Sort
Measure out the beans you will cook.
Use a white plate or bowl and sprinkle a few on the plate to search for dirty beans, tiny stones or damaged, wrinkled or broken beans that may be mixed in with the good beans.
Remove any misshaped or damaged beans, dirt or stones.
Yes, you must do this step or you could damage teeth when eating them later!
Pour the checked beans into a large bowl.
Cover the beans with water and remove any "floaters". Floaters are DUDS and will not cook properly.
The Flatulent Dried Bean Soak
"I can't eat beans, they give me GAS!"
If you experience abdominal gas "flatulence" from eating beans, this little step may eliminate that problem for you.
After inspecting the beans and rinsing them, put them in a large bowl and fill with COLD water... water amount should be three times the amount of beans measured or more.
Soak the beans overnight... you'll see them double in size and most of the water will have been absorbed by morning.
In the morning, rinse and drain the beans three or four times till the water runs clear.
Some Dried Beans Require NO SOAKING: Black-eyed Peas, Lentils and Split Peas.
Why Soaking Dried Beans Eliminates GAS
Many readers have emailed me wanting to know why soaking the beans works. So here's a simple explanation for "Flatulent Free Beans"!
Overnight Soaking of Garbanzo Beans - Gas Bubbles Being Released in the Water
Soaking dried beans activates the beans to begin the germination process. Once wet, the beans release enzymes that begin to break down their complex sugars into more simple ones. It is the bean's complex sugars that give you gas and indigestion after eating beans that haven't been pre-soaked. The overnight soak method reduces 60% of the complex sugars in most beans.
Never cook canned beans in their liquid! Rinse several times in water and drain before cooking, otherwise your flatulence will be great!
HINT:There is no need to pre-soak dried black-eyed peas, split peas, peas, or any variety of lentils.
NO SALT When Cooking Dried Beans
Add NO SALT until the beans are tender and cooked completely. Adding sea salt to the dried bean cooking water will result an undercooked bean or a bean that never seems to cook through.
This explaination is corrected in the Update below: Adding salt will prevent the beans from absorbing water. This is because a bean has an opening that is large enough for water molecules to enter it, but salt molecules are larger and will plug the bean opening, preventing the water to enter... thus you have HARD beans that never seem to cook right. Some say the bean is TOUGH, but the scientific reality is that the bean only got to absorb the water you soaked it in and not the water you cooked it in."
Update June 2012: Several knowledgable scientific minds have sent me the technical data as to why I avoid adding sea salt to the dried bean cooking water. This explaination is the BEST I've read and easiest to understand.
Water Follows Sodium "Actually it is not the "plugging" by sodium, but instead is due to the osmotic pressure gradient between the sodium solution in which the dried beans would be cooked and the water in the dried beans themselves. "Water follows sodium" is a phrase medical students learn to understand this process. The cell membranes of the bean are semi-permeable. They allow water to move freely on both sides of the membranes (in the dried bean and in the cooking water) when the concentration of sodium on both sides of the membrane is the same. This is what you want for cooking dried beans. However, once there is a difference in the concentration of sodium on one side of the membrane, in this case the cooking water, the water molecules flow toward the sodium to try and equalize the concentration on both sides of the membrane. This means the beans won't absorb the water needed to cook them properly."—Rich Howard
So add the salt and seasonings AFTER the beans are tender and the consistency you want the finished recipe to represent.
High Altitude Dried Bean Cooking Times
I live at 4,570 feet above sea level, so when I cook anything, it takes longer. My mom used to use a pressure cooker to cook things quickly, but I don't like pressure cookers for beans.
So realize that if you are at a higher altitude, the cooking times may be longer and you will have to adjust it by the "taste test" or you can decide if you want to eat the beans with a firmer texture or "cooked to death soft."
NOTE:Sprouting Garbanzo Beans in an Easy Sprout Sprouter
Many of you have requested how I sprouted the garbanzo beans. I use an Easy Sprout Sprouter and pour the dried beans into the inner container and set it into the outer container and fill with alkaline filtered water to the top. Overnight the beans will absorb all the water. I then rinse the garbanzo beans thoroughly and then follow the suggestions for releasing all the water shown in this tutorial by the Sprout People. After rinsing the garbanzo beans 2 or 3 times a day, the little tails develop. This process provides more nutrition and faster cooking times. I own 4 Easy Sprouters and sprout all kinds of seeds and beans using it. BUY the Easy Sprout Sprouter
Garbanzo Beans Sprouted in an Easy Sprout Sprouter for 2 Days
Garbanzo Beans Sprouted in an Easy Sprout Sprouter for 3 Days
The Dried Bean Boil FOAM This is the foam produced from dried garbanzo beans that I sprouted for three days before boiling.
Skim Off ALL Bean Boil Foam and Continue Simmering How Much Water?
Add the rinsed beans to the pot and cover them with clean filtered water. Use enough water to cover the beans and have at least one inch above the bean level. Do not use excess water, just enough to keep them from drying out during the boiling and simmering process. When checking for bean doneness, if the water level is low, add just enough to keep the beans wet toward the end of the cooking time.
Skim the Dried Bean FOAM OFF When the pot contents begin to boil, the surface will form a white foam from the gases being released from the beans. This is not a time to leave the kitchen!!! I have had my bean pot boil over many times and the clean-up is no fun! While the beans boil, skim off the white foam that appears on the surface of the cooking water with a large spoon and discard.
Turn the Heat Down Turn the burner temperature down to the lowest setting for a gentle simmer and cover the pot with a lid... cook till the beans are done.
The Cooked Dried Bean Taste Test
After simmering the beans for three quarters of the suggested cooking time, taste a bean to if it cooked to a softened state, if not, cook for another 15 to 30 minutes and taste test again.
Drain and Season the Cooked Dried Beans Once the beans are done to your taste test, turn the heat off, drain the cooking liquid off, add seasonings or sauces and serve.
Dried Bean Economy Canned beans are convenient and a real time saver, but they don't taste like home cooked. It is also very economical for families to cook their own beans rather than purchase store-bought canned versions.
Ball Freezer Cups Filled with Cooked Beans
Freeze the Cooked Beans for Convenience Home cooked dried beans freeze very well. After draining off the cooking liquid, divide the cooked beans into meal-sized portions. I fill quart-size plastic ziplock freezer bags with three-cups of cooked beans. Make sure to "burp" the bag to get all the excess air out. Then I shake the bag to distribute the beans in an even layer and lay it flat in my freezer. The cooked beans can then be defrosted in a bowl of warm water or added to whatever recipe I might be creating.
Ball Freezer Cups with Screw Tops
If you are single, make the bean portions single-serving-size and use small ziplock bags. Put the smaller bags into a freezer ziplock quart bag to keep them from getting freezer burn.
Freezing cooked dried beans saves many dollars, prevents exposure to BPAs in canned beans, and takes up less room than a pantry full of cans. I still keep a few cans in my pantry for emergency use if an emergency happens, but I prefer the taste of home-cooked beans over any canned product.
Dried Bean HINT: Not all dried beans need soaking, so make note of those in the chart below!
Step-By-Step Dried Bean Cooking Technique
For a step-by-step dried bean cooking recipe, go to Simply Mexican, Pinto Beans for a photo sequence that demonstrates each step of the dried bean cooking process.