A word on dried beans

I mentioned that I don’t use canned beans anymore. Most of you will groan at that and say you don’t have time for dried beans. But I ran out of my stash of frozen chickpeas yesterday and I just want to mention that it actually doesn’t take that much of your time. Here’s the deal:

1. I rinsed and put the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and covered them (with an couple of inches to spare) with water last night just before I went to bed (2 minutes)

2. In the morning I drained them and put them in a large pot with some salt (2 minutes) and boiled (10 or so minutes, unattended) then simmered them for just over an hour (unattended, I put a timer on and went about my morning).

3. When they were cooked, I divided them into pint-sized wide mouth mason jars (or whatever you have that you can put in the freezer), covering them with their cooking liquid (5-10 minutes) and left them uncovered to cool (about an hour, unattended) then popped then in the freezer (1 minute).

So, although it took many hours, it only took about 15 minutes of active time. The caveat is that you have to be in the vicinity for the cooking bit so you can stop them when they’re done.

And the reward is that you know what’s gone in there and how much sodium, which is a major issue with canned goods, along with the potential BPA in the lining. And they’re almost as convenient as the canned ones since I can defrost them quickly in hot water (or a microwave if you have one) if I don’t have the foresight to know I’ll need them in a few hours (often the case).

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