I love homemade beans! Making your own beans from scratch has so many advantages over the canned varieties– the taste is superior, the cost is lower, you avoid packaging waste, they are more digestible, and you can freeze leftovers to use for soups, tacos, chili, or your favorite bean recipe. You’ll have a tough time going back to the canned variety once you’ve made a batch of homemade black beans!
I recommend making one variety of beans per week. They take some time to soak and cook, so make sure to soak at least 2 cups of beans each time. You’ll be able to use beans cooked in a basic way in a variety of recipes throughout the week, and can freeze whatever you can’t use right away for future meals. We love to keep a variety of beans in the freezer (stored in quart sized freezer bags), such as black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, and white beans to use in making refried beans, bean soups, or hummus whenever we like. What a deal!
Make sure to sort your beans before cooking them. This ensures you will not get a stray stone in your soup! You could actually break a tooth or damage a filling by biting into a tiny little stone. I like to sort about 1/2 cup beans at time on a plate with a contrasting color so it is easy to pick out broken pieces, stones, or other debris.
Soaking beans and then draining them before cooking helps decrease phytic acid by 60% (phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that decreases absorption of minerals). Skimming the foam off of beans while cooking and adding kombu and/or epazote further enhances digestibility.
You may use this recipe for any type of bean, but you may wish to leave out the garlic, cumin, or cilantro for some types of beans, or depending on what you are going to do with them. Enjoy your delicious homemade beans!
- 2 cups dried black beans
- spring or filtered water
- 1” piece of kombu
- 1½ teaspoons unrefined sea salt
- 1 white or yellow onion, small dice
- 2 tablespoona olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons organic ground cumin
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped for garnish
- Sort and wash the beans. Soak the beans in enough water to cover beans by 2-3 inches of water for 6 hours or overnight.
- Pour off soaking liquid. Place beans in heavy pot and add enough water to cover beans by 1-2 inches.
- Bring to a boil, uncovered, skimming off the foam as if forms for the first 10 minutes or so of cooking.
- Add kombu, and simmer for an hour (or more) or until beans are soft. You may also use a pressure cooker to save time and aid in digestibility. After skimming foam, add kombu, and place lid on pressure cooker. Bring up to pressure, then turn to low. Pressure cook for 10 minutes, then turn off heat and let come down from pressure naturally.
- Meanwhile, sauté the onions in separate pan with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
- Sauté until onions are soft and then add garlic cumin powder.
- When beans are soft, mix together the beans and sautéed onion mixture, and add sea salt. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- Use 1 teaspoon dried epazote instead of or in addition to kombu to aid in digestibility.