Cooking your own beans can seem like an overwhelming task. It seems easier to buy cans, conveniently ready to open and use at a moments notice. And canned beans have their place, but cooking your own requires no more than for you to have a few hours at home, and the foresight to preplan.
Here is the big secret:
1) Buy beans.
2) Let soak overnight, making sure they are covered with 1-2 inches of water.
3) Cook until soft (anywhere from 1 1/2 – 3 hours depending on how fresh the beans are.) at a low simmer.
4) Just before the beans are done cooking add salt to taste. If you add salt too early in the cooking time the beans split and fall apart.
Use in soups, salads, for breakfast, or freeze, so next time you don’t have you open a can, you just have to open your freezer.
If you want to add a little extra flavour, finely chop celery, onion and carrot and sauté them just before turning on your beans. Add the vegetables to your pot and let the whole thing “marry” as my mother would say, while cooking.