Making my own beans (as opposed to buying canned) is a great way for me to feed our growing family and stay under budget. Years ago I tried it, but we didn’t really like it. I could never get the beans tender enough.
But, desperate times call for desperate measures. When I could no longer buy canned beans for a good price (<$0.50), I tried to make my own again. And it’s working! The trick has been to mash the beans, like refried beans, and to season them well.
Plus, cooking them myself is proving to be much cheaper than fifty cents a can. The bag pictured cost $6.39 at Costco. At $0.64/# I can make the equivalent of 4 cans of beans for a lot less money.
Here’s how to make a pot of beans yourself. It’s best if you start the night before.
Recipe: Homemade Pinto Beans
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 1 onion, chopped
- garlic powder
- Sort through the dried beans, removing any stones or defective beans. Rinse thoroughly. Place in a pot and cover with at least an inch of water. Allow to soak overnight.
- The next day, rinse and place beans in a crockpot*. Add the chopped onion and enough water to cover by about an inch. Cook 8-10 hours on low. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
- We prefer to mash the beans slightly and season to taste with garlic powder.
- *If you don’t want to use the crockpot, or if you don’t have 8 hours until serving time, you can cook them on the stovetop. Place beans, onion and water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover slightly. Stir frequently, adding water if necessary.
- To freeze: the beans can be frozen for a later date. Simply cool and divide the beans into meal size portions in airtight containers. I add some cooking liquid as well. Chill completely before freezing. To serve: thaw completely in the refrigerator. Reheat and serve.