I have posted my recipe for Spicy Black Bean Soup recently, and I mentioned in that post that I wanted to make the switch to dried beans rather than canned. Today I made my first batch of no-soak beans in the slow cooker.

I picked over the beans, put them in the slow cooker, added 3/4 of a box of no-fat, low sodium beef broth. I added about 4 cups of water. Then I added a bunch of cumin (I didn’t measure, just sprinkled a fair amount over the top of the liquid), some dried red chipotle pepper, and a couple of tbsps of diced garlic. I turned the slow cooker on high. The beans were done after about 5hrs, though I let them cook for a couple more, to really seal in the flavors. I added a few more cups of water after the first 3hrs of cooking (the liquid level was low when I checked on them).

The beans came out great! They are flavorful and I can really sense the difference in texture as compared with the canned variety. Best of all, I know they are not loaded with unnecessary sodium.

Tomorrow I will make black bean soup and black bean dip out of the beans I made today.

Here is the recipe for the black bean dip, which is great with fresh veggies, crackers or as a topper on salad. this is based on a Weight Watchers recipe, and is about 1 PointPlus per 1/4 cup of dip.

2 cups black beans
1 cup fresh chopped Cilantro (or 1/3 cup of cilantro paste)
3/4 cup Salsa
1 tsp cumin

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and process until smooth.

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