We have been eating more and more beans in our diet over the last few years, and it is taking a toll on our grocery bill buying them canned! They are at least $1/can for 15 oz (roughly under 2 cups)! This adds up quickly.
After getting an Instant Pot for Christmas in 2016, I’ve decided it’s time to start saving money on beans by cooking them myself instead of buying canned. (This will also reduce the sodium amounts and take away any BPA concern.)
An Instant Pot is a pressure cooker with bells and whistles. It’s able to create what the slow cooker/crock pot does in a fraction of the time. In addition, it can quickly make hard boiled eggs, beans, yogurt, rice, lentils, steel cut oats, and more with just the push of a button. Amazing.
I am no longer spending $1+ on 15oz. can of beans, since I can have 2 pounds+ of dried beans cooked through without soaking in less than an hour for $2.50!!! From these dried beans I can make more than 6 15 oz. bags!
The savings is huge…. and the way they taste compared to canned is totally worth it!
I’ll share with you exactly how to make these perfect beans in just a sec. First….
I want to express how totally awesome beans are before I share how to cook these bad boys! Beans are the LEAST EXPENSIVE source of protein, especially when compared to meat. They contain a powerhouse of nutrients including fiber, antioxidants, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. They also help stabilize blood sugar (can help you not crash from fatigue).
I always think it’s interesting that the healthiest of populations around the world, who also live the longest, consume large amounts of beans in their diet. Even diets that promote reversing disease include high bean consumption.
If beans are cheap, filling, full of plant-protein, and are a nutrient powerhouse, why aren’t we using them more? Most Americans aren’t utilizing their versatility and health benefits. We were guilty of that…we soon found we LOVE beans and would choose beans over meat when given the option.
Some of our favorite ways to use beans are in soups like chili, as a soup thickener, dip, tacos and taco salads, rice and beans, and a Cajun Chicken and Quinoa. YUM!
It has become our family’s favorite source of protein and it just so happens to be the cheapest!
If you don’t have an Instant Pot and are looking to buy one…I bought mine off Amazon. Of course.
How to Cook Beans in the Instant Pot (No Soaking Required!)
- Prepare 2lbs. of dry beans by rinsing thoroughly.
- Place beans in Instant Pot.
- Cover with water until the the water reaches the 6 cups line. (Dry beans should be thoroughly covered with 1-2 inches of water on top)
- Secure lid. Make sure steam valve on top of lid is closed. Use the manual setting to set the timer for whichever bean type you’re cooking below:
Black beans: 26-28 minutes (depending on how soft you like your beans)
Kidney: 28-30 minutes
Pinto: 26-30 minutes
It takes a few minutes for the pot to reach pressure and heat levels. In addition, there is added time in the cool down and pressurizing release. Total time will take around 45-50 minutes (assuming you release the pressure manually).
5. After the pot has beeped/finished cooking, you have the option to let the steam and pressure out manually by opening the vent on top or letting the pressure release automatically on it’s own time. Usually, I manually let the steam out (quick release) to hurry up the process unless I am not home. However you do it, the beans will be perfect! 🙂 If for any reason, you feel like they are still slightly hard, keep them in the instant pot and cook them on manual setting for another 3-5 minutes depending.
6. After letting the beans cool, I place 2 cups into a quart size freezer bags. Then, I place 5 of the filled quart bags into a gallon freezer bag for added protection. Place the gallon bag in the freezer. Pull out desired amount of beans and thaw in fridge over night or in a bowl of warm water.
You can also place them into mason jars, just make sure the beans are completely cooled before putting them in the freezer!
Perfect beans in little time. 🙂
What are your favorite ways to use beans. We could use some more ideas….