Ditch the Can! (and Freeze your Beans)

I have just been loving my crockpot lately. Now, that there is a slight chill in the air…I’m ready to start making some yummy hot food.

In the meantime…I’m just cooking “staple” foods. It makes life easy. It turns ingredients into food and allows me to just grab and go. Or grab and consume. whatever the case may be…the point is that there is grabbing! Another reason I like doing it this way is because it cuts down on space and packaging.

One of our biggest staples in this house is beans. We just can’t seem to get enough. I don’t like having to have storage in order to have a week’s worth of beans on hand and that is the way it is with canned products. They take up so much room! Think about all that packaging. Not only is the packaging wasteful but the cans are BPA lined. You know how you see all kinds of things labeld “BPA Free”…not canned food. I DO notice the inconsistency by placing my food in plastic bags. Baby steps.

One thing we can do is make our own food. What a novel idea! I love the taste of homemade beans and its so much healthier for you. So here is my recipe for beans. I cook a big ol’ batch and freeze the rest.

HOMEMADE BEANS

If you have the chance to buy from bulk bins you cut down on packaging costs and you can choose the amount you need.

For this example I just used 1 package of pinto beans. It is 1 pound. You could do 2 pounds if you like(I suggest that! Clean the crockpot only once and get twice the beans!)

Bagged Beans

then I rinse and sort through the beans to look for any offenders

Rinse Beans

Next, the beans go in your crockpot and covered with about 1 and 1/2-2 inches of water.  Now is also the time to season the beans anyway you like. I like to add Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Onion, Cumin and Cayenne Pepper.  The possibilities are endless!

Beans in Water

Now just set your crockpot on high and let cook for 6-8 hours or until beans are tender. Add water if need be.

Beans in CrockpotDon’t judge me people! I have a mismatched set  🙂

beans on sheetOnce cooked, strain beans and place on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Save the bean broth for soup!

frozen beans on sheetOnce frozen (you can check my color and feel) place in a bag and store in your freezer for up to 3-6 months.

beans in a bag

What are some of your favorite freezer foods? I’d love to hear your favs!

Serah

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