Frozen beans are healthier than aluminum canned beans, but cost a lot more. And canned beans themselves can get pretty pricey!
I do try to have a menu and meal plan, along with the dinner by 10 to plan a healthy meal with enough time to prep it. But when it comes to beans, I often miss the mark on prepping and so I wanted to have a quick and easy way to grab some fresh beans that are already cooked and throw them into my recipes.
I bought a couple of these Hanover Beans Essentials for $1.28 at Walmart in the freezer section.
They have been very useful and very easy to use. The amount was perfect for adding to 1-lb. of beef to make 1-lb. of beef stretch to be equivalent to 2-lbs. of beef in recipes (another way we save big by stretching our meats with healthy add-ins!).
Each bag is also equivalent to one can of beans, which is an easy way to convert for recipes and cooking when recipes call for “1 can of beans.”
I just didn’t want to spend $1.28 anymore for my emergency bean needs when I forgot to get the bulk beans we have soaking the night before.
So I decided just to make my own!
Here’s what I did:
- I filled two 9-quart stock pots half way up with dry beans. One had black beans and the other had pinto beans. I then filled them with water to cover the beans and then another inch of water (or until the water reaches the first joint in your index finger when touching the beans. I soaked them in 9-quart stock pots overnight.
- I also try to dump and rinse at least three times during the soaking process. This greatly reduces the gas (or flatulence – whatever fits your fancy on the subject!).
- Then I boil the beans for about 1-hour, draining and rinsing at least once again here too.
- I then drain and and rinse in cold water and let them cool on the counter in a big bowl.
- I prepare sandwich ziploc bags for the freezer storage by labeling with the type of bean and the date!
Now to figure out how much to add to each baggie! So if each store-bought bag is equivalent to one can of beans, I want to keep this same measurement to continue to make it easy to use in recipes and to double my 1lb. of ground beef.
Well, 3/4 cup is one serving and there is a total of 3 servings…… So I will too put in three 3/4 cup scoops of cooked beans into each baggie!
And that’s exactly what I did!
Now I have my own fresh frozen beans for my last minute bean needs!
Now for the cost, I can buy a 25 lb. bag of beans for $25 at a local bulk foods store. I barely touched the bulk supply and so I estimate my version to cost .10 (plus the cost of the ziploc!). That is quite a savings! They also store well in a freezer because they can be frozen nice and flat, which conserves room in your freezer!
They ended up being the exact consistency as the store-bought versions, which was perfect as I loved using the store-bought ones for convenience sake.
Now let’s talk about an issue that many of us think about when eating beans…… that lovely three-letter word…… gas.
I just want to mention this, I don’t know if the next batch I make will be the same (hoping so with the same process shared above) but these seem to cause less gas.
You see, right after I did this thrifty project, I made a soup with the black beans. Alex said that he felt quite gassy…. he didn’t feel it, I already knew it. 🙂 So he said: “I wonder what we could do to these next time to reduce the gas.” Well, I said, since this is from the LAST bag of the store-bought ones…. I hope my process (taught to me by my mom and grandma) will have less gas.
Sure enough, next time I used my own freezer beans and the gas was at a minimum! Alex was pleased, but I was even more pleased. 🙂
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