Monday, July 23, 2012


Ever know that something should be really simple, but you still can’t figure it out?  That is my story with dried beans.  Beans are healthy, full of protein and fiber.  They are a great addition to a meal without adding a lot of costs.  I knew that dried beans were healthier and cheaper than canned, but I tried boiling them a couple of times, and I didn’t like the texture.  They were still kind of hard, and as the inside of the bean cooked it kind of popped out of the shell.  (Is the outside called a shell…skin?)  I was frustrated.  How difficult can it be to cook a bean?  I have made much more difficult things than a bean.  Sigh…

I borrowed the book Large Family Logistics from a friend, and the author casually explained how she made beans.BLOG-POST SUBJECT HIATUS: I picked up the book because I read that smaller families can learn a few things from the organization and plans of larger families.  We are a family of 4 which by “definition” is a large-small family.  5 kids tips a family over into the small-large family category.  And now you know…back to beans.  I should not have been that excited about the author’s bean making process, but I will shamelessly admit that I was.  I tried black beans last week, and they were perfect!  Hooray!

1.       Soak the beans in water over night.  I used a whole bag of beans and added enough water to cover the beans plus a little extra.  Tip: Add a couple of teaspoons of acid (apple cider vinegar or lemon juice) and your beans should cause less flatulence.  J

2.       The next morning strain the beans and rinse.  Wipe out the crock pot and spay lightly with cooking spray. Return the beans to the pot.

3.       Cover with water and cook on low for 5-7 hours. 

4.       After the beans have reached the desired texture, rinse and use or store.  Tip: Season beans with salt after they have cooked or they will not get soft enough!

If you are not going to use your beans right away they can be frozen for future meals.  I froze some and made protein bars out some.  (See recipe below)  The crock pot was stained from the black beans but scrubbing cleanser easily took care of that!  Happy bean making! 

Protein Bars

*Some call these “Black Bean Brownies”.  I was raised that my great-Aunt Verda’s buttermilk brownies were the definition of the ultimate brownie.  These are very tasty protein bars!

·         1 ¾ cups black beans

·         3 eggs

·         ¼ cocoa

·         1 tsp vanilla

·         3 Tsp oil

·         ¼ tsp salt

·         1/3 honey

·         ¼ sugar or sucanat

·         ½ tsp baking powder

Mix together all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Pour into greased pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the top just starts to crack.

This post is linked up at Tammy's Recipes, Quick Easy Cheap Healthy, Food Renegade, Nourishing Gourmet, Frugally Sustainable


  1. Hi Tara,
    What a great recipe and really good information to have with good tips. Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  2. You need to be careful when cooking beans in the crock pot. It can work for some types of beans, but can make other beans dangerous to consume. Kidney beans and some other varieties contain a toxin which is only destroyed by boiling the beans, and the crock pot does not reach a high enough temperature to do that. Please read more about the risks here.

    1. Thanks so much for the link and the warning!

  3. Those brownies/protein bars sound so good! Thanks for the info.

    I would love it if you would share this at the Smart Solutions linky party. You can link up here:

    Have a great day!

  4. Nice post!!

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