Canned Beans ~ Yay or Nay?

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cannellini beans

I know that opening a can of beans is easy.  But you know what is almost just as easy?  Making your own beans and freezing them.  Obviously spelling the beans correctly is not easy, since you may notice that I spelled it differently on each bag, however spelling doesn’t faze me at all – I’m terrible at it, and wouldn’t recognize a correctly spelled word if it slapped me in the face.  Back to these beans.

Once a month or so, or really whenever I need some beans, I cook up a big batch in my slow cooker.  I leave them unseasoned and every so slightly firm – definitely not overcooked.  Both of those are reason enough to stay away from canned.  There is no added sodium in my beans, I leave the seasoning to whatever recipe I am using them for.  And since one of the things I love to use them for, especially in the summer, is a bean salad side dish, I want them a little firm to hold their shape.  How many times have you opened a can of beans and found half of them mushy and split?  It’s a crapshoot really. 

cannellini beans 

I portion them in freezer bags, about the amount that is in a can of beans, since that is how so many recipes call for them.  I lay them on their side and freeze them.  They don’t take up much room and they thaw quickly.  The other advantage is that they are organic.  If you are going to buy organic beans, even canned they are pretty expensive, so buying them in bulk and doing it yourself can save you some money.

How about you?  Canned or homemade?

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  1. Anonymous says

    Freezing beans sounds like a great idea. Could you provide a little more how to as far as pre-soaking, length of cooking time and amount of liquid added to beans in slow cooker? Another advantage to cooking and freezing your own beans would be no nasty stuff absorbed from the metal cans.

    Thanks, Sandra

  2. says

    Homemade all the way! Unless I’m feeling particularly lazy and want to make a recipe before I have time to actually cook the homemade beans…but that’s where this make head idea would come in handy

  3. says

    Well now that I have seen yours:)

    You made me smile about the spelling..
    I really dislike the goopy slush they are in their cans..How long and on what setting do you cook them? I need the recipe:) Water? beans? quantities?


  4. says

    I make homemade ricotta, homemade lemon curd, homemade yogurt, homemade barbecue sauce….but beans are always from a can. I’m a lazy bean kind of gal. No doubt fresh is better, though. Like everything.

  5. says

    I think this is a genius idea. I am totally against canned foods due to the heavy metals in the aluminum. I will skip an ingredient such as beans in my recipes if I don’t have time to cook them in advance. You just simplified my life. THANKS!

  6. says

    Home made of course! People think they are cheap in cans but making them yourself is SO cheap. I am loving turtle (black) beans lately. I make some mexican chilli black beans to eat with corn chips. The next time I use the leftovers (cause I make heaps) I fry up some mince (ground beef) and make tacos with a great salsa and then the days after that my son gets taco wraps for school lunch. All home made stuff. So from a $5 1 kilogram bag I get at least 6 meals out of them.

  7. says

    If a recipe called for homemade, Hubby would make them. He loves to follow a recipe exactly.
    We have a great recipe for cannelli beans with radichio and lemon with whitefish. Seeing your post, we may have to have that for dinner!

  8. says

    Pam,it really depends on the recipe, so I guess I’m a fence sitter :-). I love your idea of freezing them. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary.

  9. says

    Oh my gosh I never thought about freezing homemade beans… I make them but mostly use canned, washed first of course!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. says

    You’ll laugh, but my dearly beloved just abhors beans other than green beans. So I don’t make them at all. But your spelling is lots of fun! And you can always point out that you’re not a spelling teacher, and no one ever tested kids on the spelling of different kinds of beans anyway!

  11. says

    Yay or Nay? I’m partial to black beans. Every now and then I do a huge pot and freeze them like you do. But every now and then I run out, and a can is the best way to go for a quick meal. Time to put a couple of pounds of black beans into a pot to soak. If you stick with balck beans (black beans) the spelling should be easier. I know how to spell, but my fingers haven’t a clue.

  12. jeri says

    I’ve just recently started making and freezing my own beans in the slow cooker and the flavor is really superior. I do add a small amount of salt and always cook them with onion, celery, carrot and garlic. There’s really no recipe where these are ever out of place, and they pretty much disintegrate anyway. But I still use canned for varieties that I don’t cook with that often. Either way, we should all try to eat more beans. They are good and good for you.

  13. says

    You’re amazing!
    I must admit, this has never occurred to me so I’ve been okay with canned beans so far. My freezer space is practically nonexistent, but I’ll certainly keep this is mind when I cook beans in the future.

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