beans, beans...

Once a month I check my freezer and cupboard legume reserves. For the past two years, I've bought dried beans, rehydrated, cooked and frozen them so they are readily available. From garbonzos to canelinis...if I can find them dry, I buy them. The key is to have a little space in the freezer to store the extra beans. It is amazing how large that little bag of dried beans will grow.

Basic Slow Cooker Technique:

    -rinse and drain a whole bag of dried beans -put the cleaned beans in your slow cooker/crock pot(not cooking yet) -fill the pot with beans in it 3/4 full of water and soak over night -drain the water and refill, add any herbs or veg aromatics of choice (garlic, onion, carrot, herbs/spices) -cook on high for 30 minutes, then switch to low for 5-6 hours -check the beans at the 3 hour mark to see how they're progressing -when they're done, the beans should be soft but not split open

When cool, drain the liquid and store in quart freezer bags (flat is best). Use the beans whenever you're hungry for chili, beans and rice, or soup!