bodacious black beans

Yes, black beans…dried black beans…they are simple and easy to prepare and can be used in a plethora of ways…

To be honest, I haven’t always prepared beans from scratch…for years I bought the canned varieties…until I finally realized how easy (and better) they are to make at home. Added bonus – the cost. Dried beans are a fraction of the cost of canned and there’s nothing ‘hidden’ (excess salt and other additives)… plus, you end up with SO much more when you prepare them yourself. No special equipment is needed – just a little time and forethought.

One cup raw beans yields about 3 cups cooked – yes, they triple in quantity! A little sure does go a long way with these black beauties…and they are so versatile! Eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or appetizers. Make extra and freeze. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and taste – what’s not to love?

raw turtle beans

Soaking not as much trouble as you may think – really;

Quick soaking method;

First pick out all the odd looking, cracked or wrinkled beans.

bad bits

Rinse well with water.

rinsing raw beans

Place beans in pot.

pouring into pot

Cover with three times the amount of water (1 cup beans = 3 cups water).

Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, keep covered and then let sit for one hour.

simmer on stovetop

Then drain water, rinse and cook as directed below.


Traditional soaking method  – place ‘picked-over’ beans in a pot in the AM, let sit overnight, cook the following morning, afternoon or evening.

How to;

Instead of bringing to a boil, simply soak overnight for 12-24 hours.

Drain soaking water and then throughly rinse.

Cook as directed below.

That’s it to soaking – a little planning and a little time are all that is needed.

How to cook soaked beans;

Rinse soaked beans (this helps aid in digestion) in a colander, under running water (filtered if possible).

rinsing raw beans

Return beans to pot (a pot large enough to handle the tripling of the beans) and cover with three times the amount of water (1 cup beans = 3 cups water).

Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then simmer, covered, for 1-2 hours, or until tender.

simmer on stovetop

Once they are tender, drain in colander, return cooked beans to pot. Cover with fresh water and simmer another 10-15 minutes.

Use in a plethora of ways or freeze for later.

That’s it.

Now wasn’t that easy?

Black beans will keep fresh in the fridge for about 3-4 days and for months in the freezer…

cooked black beans

Here’s a few ideas for what to do with all those beans now that you’ve cooked them!

Basic prep to use in burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos or even soup;

Chop one large onion, saute until browned in olive oil, add one clove garlic (chopped), add cooked black beans, season with a generous pinch or two of salt, freshly ground black pepper, one-two tablespoons cumin, one good handful chopped fresh cilantro and juice from two limes – that’s it. Use right away or freeze for later…

beans cooking

Add more spices such as chipotle, red chili’s, or add freshly chopped spinach, kale or cabbage – beans are so versatile!  Have fun and spice ’em up as you like! Serve over rice topped with salsa – dinner is served!

Throw a handful of black beans into meat chili for some added flavor and fibre, add a large spoonful to your scrambled eggs and top with fresh salsa, puree with stock and black bean soup is ready in minutes – the options go on and on…try dried beans and you’ll never go back to canned!



10 thoughts on “bodacious black beans

  1. I miss black beans! It’s hard to find them here in Germany – you can sometimes find black soy beans but no real-deal black beans. Love them simmered with veggies, chipotle sauce, some orange juice added at the end… then topped with a bit of rice vinegar. Leftovers are great in an egg scramble. Great, now all I want is black beans, haha 🙂

  2. Hmmm…We love our black beans here too! I buy 3 pounds of dry organic black beans at a time and cook them in my crockpot. I freeze them in about 1-cup batches and use them is all kinds of recipes. I like many of your recipe ideas too!

    • I’ve read about cooking beans in a crockpot…I don’t have one, though it sounds as though it is super easy and efficient! Freezing in one cup batches is great proportioning – glad to know I’m not the only bean lovin’ girl around…

  3. I too make extra beans and freeze, takes the same amount of time to soak and handful as it is to make a big batch, so why not make a big batch, save energy and time.
    Great ideas and presentations.

  4. Pingback: Black Beans, What’s Not to Love? - Real Cheap Food

  5. Pingback: two tacos please | Ripe Red Berries

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