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By cooking your own dried beans, you save money, reduce sodium and get better flavor along with, surprisingly, more vitamins and minerals. If you can't use the whole batch, freeze surplus cooked beans for later use in soups, salads and dips. The range of time for cooking beans is wide and varies with the age and the type of beans selected.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, Winter 2004


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Soak beans in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.)

  • Drain the beans and place them in a slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Pour in boiling water. Cook, covered, on high until beans are tender, 2 to 3 1/2 hours. Add salt, cover, and cook for 15 minutes more.


For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Tip: Don't use kidney beans in this recipe; slow-cooking doesn't destroy a natural toxin in kidney beans that can cause severe digestive distress. After soaking, kidney beans must be boiled in fresh water for at least 30 minutes to render them safe to eat.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup
253 calories; protein 14.6g; carbohydrates 47.6g; dietary fiber 18.6g; sugars 1.4g; fat 1.1g; saturated fat 0.2g; vitamin a iu 9.4IU; vitamin c 3.7mg; folate 246.6mcg; calcium 137.8mg; iron 4.4mg; magnesium 96.6mg; potassium 712.1mg; sodium 200.9mg; thiamin 0.4mg.

3 starch