Cooking Beans, the Long-Soak Way

So, I have a thing against canned beans.  Anything that’s been sitting in a can for that long scares me.  I would love to use my own beans, but cooking a batch each time I want to put them in a recipe is not exactly easy and fast.  In his book, Mark says that cooked beans freeze well and recommends several ways to cook them.  Since I wanted them to soak as long as possible and cook as quickly as possible, I chose the Long-Soak method on page 582.

I soaked a whole pound of navy beans in water overnight and cooked them in the morning.  After a 14-hour soak, I swapped out the soaking water to minimize any gas produced by them. They took about 30 minutes to cook.  I added salt during the last 10 minutes when they were almost done.  Then, I let them cool in the same pan for the next 6 hours, and split them up into can-sized portions (2 cups or so).  I added a splash of vinegar, as Mark recommends to keep them from getting mushy in the freezer and stuck them in there.  Now I have 4 “cans” of cooked beans in the freezer and I did it all myself.  I’m almost tempted to cook all the dry beans I have and just keep them in the freezer.  Unfortunately, I dont have that much room but next time I need beans, I’m cooking more than I want and sticking it in there. They’re such pretty little beanbags!  AND I saved a ton of money: a pound of beans costs the same as two cans but I got four!

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