A Healthier Alternative To Canned Beans


photo credit: djwtwo via photopin cc

I love beans. As a vegetarian, I often use beans as a meat substitute. I enjoy cooking with them because they’re both healthy and filling. What I don’t love is the can that beans come in- typically lined with a dangerous coating of BisphenolA or BPA- a toxic, hormone-like chemical used, among other things, to line the insides of food cans. While some companies no longer use BPA in their cans, the majority still do. And since trying to find BPA-free cans of frijoles is an all-but-impossible (or else expensive) task, I knew there had to be a better way. The solution? Frozen beans- I’ve yet to find them in the freezer aisle of the grocery store, but cooking and freezing dried beans at home is pretty simple and straight-forward to do. I like to whip up a few batches of different kinds of beans and freeze them in “15oz can” sizes, to accommodate most recipes, pulling them out of the freezer a day or two before I need them to allow them to thaw. Here’s what to do:

Overnight Soak Method:

Soak 1 lb of dry beans in 6 cups of water overnight.

Quick Soak Method:

Place 1 lb of dry beans in a pot with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat. Soak for 1-2 hours.

How to cook dry beans:

Discard soaking water, and add fresh water to the beans. Bring beans to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 60-90 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.


Separate beans into 1 1/2 Cup portions (the equivalent of a 15oz can) and freeze in airtight containers.


6 thoughts on “A Healthier Alternative To Canned Beans

    • Absolutely! Most people still recommend pre-soaking but that’s entirely up to you. Just put beans in the crockpot, pour enough water over the beans to cover them by about 2 inches, cover the pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Until you really know how your crockpot handles cooking beans, you might want to check them after 5 hours, and then every 30 minutes, until they are cooked to your liking. Beans generally finish cooking in 6 to 8 hours.

      Just to add a safety note: If you are cooking kidney beans, boil them for 10 minutes before cooking. This neutralizes a toxin called phytohemagglutinin that can cause acute digestive distress.

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