BEANS COOKING AND STORAGE TIPS

Storage
Dry beans can be stored for up to a year or more if handled properly. They should be kept in a relatively cool (but preferably not refrigerated) dry place, free from insects and other pests. They can be kept in the original package or transferred to an airtight container.

Measuring Beans
Dry beans expand to about 2-1/2 times their original size when cooked. One pound of dry beans will yield 5 to 6 cups.

Preparation
Inspect beans carefully, removing any damaged beans or foreign material. Rinse thoroughly first if you use soak water – no rinsing necessary if you discard soak water.

Soaking
The traditional method is to soak beans eight to 10 hours, or overnight. The new method (and our recommendation) is the Quick Soak method. For each pound of dry beans add 10 cups water, bring to a boil and boil for three minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand one hour. (Water sources vary. If you find that beans seem to be absorbing water unevenly, try adding two teaspoons of salt per pound of dry beans to the soak water.)

Cooking
After soaking, drain the soak water. This removes much of the indigestible, soluble sugars that can cause gas problems for some people — and no appreciable amounts of nutrients will be lost. Then add fresh water and cook about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until tender, or follow your favorite recipe.

Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are a popular, easy way to make dry bean recipes. The easiest Slow cookers are a popular, easy way to make dry bean recipes. The easiest method is to just put all of your ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on high until the beans are tender. (Done!) You can also cook for two or three hours on high, then reduce the heat to low for another 8 to 10 hours (almost as easy). The most common way people use slow cookers involves slightly more effort, but probably gives the best results:

1. Cook beans in water on high for 2 hours
2. Turn off slow cooker and let beans soak for 8-24 hours
3. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 8-12 hours