From Dried Beans to “Canned” Beans to Burritos

Even I struggle to find time to cook with dried beans, it takes quite a bit of planning. Here is my all day and overnight method for going from dried beans to the equivalent of canned beans in a day.

You will need:

  • 1 lb of dried beans
  • large pot
  • plenty of water
  • crock pot
  • salt
  • storage containers

I’m using the “Tootless” method in “The Bean Cookbook” I got free from my WIC office. This method should reduce the “gassy sugars” by 75%.

  1. In the large pot heat 10 cups of water and 1 tsp salt to boiling.
  2. Blanch (boil)  cleaned beans for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, cover and let stand4-16 hours.
  4. Drain, discard the soak water, rinse beans with fresh cold water.
  5. Pour beans into crock pot, cover with fresh, cold water, add 1tsp salt. Cook on low for 8-12 hours.

After the beans have cooked, two cups is equal to a can of beans. You can use these in a recipe, refrigerate or freeze. I like to freeze about half, and will often add them to soup or make re-fried beans, especially if I’m using pinto beans. If you freeze in glass jars, make sure you leave room for the liquids to expand. Also, the bean juice has lots of vitamins in it, so try to include it in your cooking.

Now here’s the tricky part-logistics and timing. If you work, you can do this two ways:  1) set it up first thing in the morning to blanch and soak, then transfer to the crock pot and cook it all evening and night.  The next morning you can easily fill a few quart jars with beans, and freeze or cook it later.  2) you can come home from work,  blanch and soak the beans all night, and then transfer them to the crock pot first thing in the morning. When you come home from work they will be ready to cook with!  Use which ever is more convenient for you. If something happens and you can’t get to the soaking beans before 16 hours is up, put them in the refrigerator as soon as your realize your plans have changed. They can be cooked in the next day or to, but you should change the water every day.

Since I have all day, I like to start the beans in the morning, and the the next day I will make mass quantities of home made burritos to freeze. If you have the weekends off, you could easily start this on a Friday and then make the burritos on Saturday.  They make a handy lunch for my husband that he can heat up at work in the microwave. Once I have my beans cooked in the crock pot I will take out and freeze about one pint’s worth. I’ll put on a pot of rice, about  1 cup, and then I’ll brown up some ground turkey in my largest frying pan, with some onions and garlic. Then I’ll add the rest of the beans and use a potato masher to mash it up.  Once it’s good and mashed, I’ll add some salsa and let the mixture cook and thicken.  In the mean time I’ll grate some cheese.  By now the rice should be done, and all you have to do is put a bit of rice, cheese and bean-meat mixture in a tortilla, wrap it in wax paper and drop it in a zip lock bag. This is even extra healthy if you use brown rice and whole wheat tortillas! To reduce the fat further, you can use reduced fat cheese such as the Cabot brand we use.  To reheat just zap it for a minute and flip and one more minute, but they come out very hot, so be careful!




2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anne on January 25, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    This is the best tip I’ve read in ages! I’m going to have to try to make some of these burritos this weekend! Wait…I have a feeling we have plans this weekend, but I’m not sure what they are. Anyway, I want to try making my own soon.



  2. I like to pack three or four in a Chinese Food box and freeze them, no wax paper needed. Then you just grab a box from the freezer on the way out the door. Oh, and you will need about two lbs of tortillas for this recipe. The medium sized ones, not the tiny ones…


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