Vegan slow cooker beans

Does anyone else know that you can pop an opened bag o' dried beans in the slow cooker in the morning with water about an inch or two from the top, depending on how juicy you like your beans, a chopped onion or two, and maybe some cumin, and enough salt to "make the water taste like the sea".

Doesn't even seem to matter if you cook on low or high....when you get home from work you have the tastiest beans ever, no soaking required!

Easiest beans ever!

Donna
Rowley, MA

*****

Sassy Sez: Hi there, Donna! Thanks so much for sharing this tip on how to slow cook beans.

Personally, I purchased a slow cooker years ago – MAN was I excited to finally learn to cook some good vegan grub in a slow cooker. Anyway, I put all the ingredients in the cooker, went to bed, and when I woke up there was a strange burned-food smell.

“ACK! MY SLOW COOKER!”

I ran into the kitchen, removed the slow cooker lid, picked up the bowl insert thingy, and the food had burned so badly, you could literally pick up the bowl and look through the bottom to the other side of the room -- it had burned the entire bottom away! Crazy!!!

Thank goodness it didn’t cause a fire. Not sure exactly what went wrong – likely a manufacturer's defect, but it freaked me out so much I turned my back on slow cooking for years and years. I mean, it really freaked me out.

These days I have learned to embrace slow cooking and you are SO right about how easy it is to cook beans in them. We love to make soups and stews too.

Special note about slow cooking red kidney beans: If you're slow cooking kidney beans they MUST be boiled for 10-15 minutes first to help destroy a toxin naturally present in red kidney beans. THEN slow cook as normal. This is not necessary for any other bean, just the kidney.

Getting back to the topic at hand, I would love to hear from others who slow cook their beans too.

Thanks so much, and have a great day. xo

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Vegan slow cooker beans
by: Jorge

Also don't forget to add some garlic... And you can mix beans, red, black, etc... if you have enough liquid (juice) left, you can eat it as soup, delicious!

I've used a slow cooker to cook some beans; and yes they are very tasty. However I don't use my old slow cooker much.

-jc

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It definetely works!
by: Anonymous

Hi Sassy!

In my twenties - many years ago - I used to work as a Nanny in the States (I am a Polish girl married to a Hungarian and now we live in Hungary). My host family often cooked Cholent for Shabbat lunch. They added beans, potatoes, barley, meat, an onion, a bit of salt and pepper and water to the slow cooker on Friday evening and cooked it overnight. The result was a delicious stew-like meal.
There are many varieties of this Jewish traditional dish not only with beans but sometimes with rice and vegetables added (like eggplant, carrots or zucchini). The point is to cook it slowly. Since we have become a vegetarian I make it without meat in a slow cooker and we just love it.
So yes, you can definitely cook beans in a slow cooker and get something tasty. :-)

And Sassy: thanks for your site. Though we are not vegans but vegetarians, I always find lots of inspiration here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Adrianna

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Re: Slow cooker Beans....
by: Anonymous

Hi Sassy I had a thought on the slow cooker bean recipe. I was always under the impression that beans needed to be soaked for a while to remove the gassy substance in them..then rinse off and add new water to cook. Keep cooking liquid for sauces etc...this seems to have the beans remaining with the gassyness? Just a thought and question! Hugs Pam Lake Nockamixon PA

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Thank you!
by: Sassy

Hi Everyone -- Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and ideas with our community. Jorge and Adrianna, amazing ideas. Fabulous! Pam, girlfriend, I personally ALWAYS soak my beans first before cooking them. But I'm not sure -- perhaps you don't have to because the slooooow cooking might release some of those unsavories. ;)

Anybody have any thoughts on this? xo!

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vegan slow cooker beans
by: Arwen

Wow, I thought this post was a joke because I thought a slow cooker was the default way to make beans! It's the only way I've ever seen them made in my family, though I'm not sure if they were soaked or not. I'm guessing not.
Now, for whatever reason, whenever *I* try to make beans in a slow cooker, they could go for days and days and never finish--I've never figured out why.
Maybe one of these days I'll be brave and pull out my pressure cooker. Though, I have to admit, all that steam and quick-cooking is intimidating for a somewhat absent-minded cook like me!

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Vegan slow cooker beans "soup"
by: Anonymous

I always soak beans. However if soak for a long time, overnight, etc. when you cook them in a slow cooker they take less time to be done; as I remember...

We eat bean soup Latino style, when beans are done get enough juice with some beans in a bowl and add some plain white rice, cilantro, chile, onions and if you like some lime juice... it is a complete meal, and very nutritious and delicious.

BTW, I have added some other raw veggies to the soup that I wont mention because I dont want to sound weird! lol

-jc.

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love my slow cooker
by: Janice Lynn

When I am in a hurry or when I was working, slow cooking is a great way to come home to a ready made meal. I have slow cooked beans in the slowcooker. if from a can then they need to be rinsed and added about i hour before eating, if dried, then best to soak them overnight then add in the morning. I have never had any problems with them not cooking by supper time.
Now I have just purchased a pressure cooker. grew up with the old ones at home hated them and was very afraid of them so I never had one when I left home. (which was many years ago haha) since I have been hooked on Sassy'e site I have now ventured out and bought a pressure cooker, I also do not use can beans any more due to sodium intake. I made my first batch of black beans in the pressure cooker, awesome so fast, soaked first overnight. I tried long grain brown rice not a good idea mushhhhy so i will stick with my rice steamer for that. So both slow cooker and pressure cooker works for me.

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preventing the gassy results
by: vegglover

I use a slow cooker about 50% of the time when preparing a bag of dry beans. Just as in stove-top cooking, I believe it is best to presoak overnight. If I plan ahead, I soak the beans in the slow cooker, drain and rinse the next morning, place them back in the cooker, etc.

If I forget or don't plan ahead, I follow a tip that one of my friends gave me years ago: Place 3 large raw carrots in with the beans. The carrots soak up a lot of the gas, and I dispose of them when the beans are done. Eating those carrots would likely cause a future explosion. LOL.

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Cooool!
by: Sassy

WOW, what a cool tip about the carrots, vegglover! Does that really work? Amazing!

And yes, it might cause an explosion! ha! :)

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add kombu and there will be no gas
by: Anonymous

if you add a little kombu to your soaking water, there won't be any gas in the beans.

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kombu tip
by: Anonymous

The kombu is a good tip, as long as you enjoy the taste. I am a little sensitive to it, but it DOES work to eliminate gas in the bean water/broth. I like the carrots, as they add another layer of veggie flavor to the broth, and I personally like the flavor. We have to do what works for us individually. Do the kombu addition if you like it, because it releases lots of great nutrition into the water during the cooking process. :)

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beans
by: Angela

Hi just read about slow cooking beans, but if you are using red kidney beans (not sure about other beans) you need to soak first, then boil rapidly for ten minutes to remove toxins present in the raw bean. After tis you can continue to cook them in any way choose.

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Fab
by: Sassy

Thanks, Angela. That is GREAT to know. And I can understand why that only applies to kidney beans.

Anyone who doesn't already know can learn about the toxins present in kidney beans in a raw state.

Appreciate you sharing this helpful hint with our community, Angela. :)

xo

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Question
by: Anonymous

Can I cook Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Garbonzo Beans and Kideny Beans at the same time in the same slow cooker?

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Why not?
by: Donna

I never have, but why not?

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Another slowcooker beans story
by: Anonymous

My Chilean daughter-in-law told me that's how she cooks her beans to perfection, so I tried it. Only by the time I did (a couple of years later) I had forgotten whether or not you had to soak them. So I soaked them overnight, rinsed them, and then set them to cook. It still took 6-8 hours to cook to tenderness! Now I'll try them Donna's way! If that doesn't work, I'll dig out my electric counter-top pressure cooker.

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Ratio of water to beans
by: pa

Hi,

Wondering what the ratio of water to beans is (for the slow cooker?

Thanks,
pa

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water level
by: Donna

When I make them, I just add 2" to 3" of water over the top of the beans.

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first time crockpot user
by: Geraldine

how long does it take for baked beans in crockpot to turn dark (molasses) and thicken? This is my first try at it. Thanks

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Beans in the slow cooler
by: Blackscrapcat

I have been using my slow cooker to cook beans for literally 20 years. When my old Rival died I upgraded to a Cuisinart 6.5 quart, and it is fabulous! I can make beans in a few hours, no presoaking needed. The trick is to bring water to a boil in your kettle and pour that over your beans. Cook the beans on high and come back to check them in way less time than you think you should. The other trick is to never add salt (tomatoes too) to your beans until they are soft -- it's the salt that keeps the beans from ever getting soft. Acid in tomatoes can also prevent the beans from cooking properly. Better to add seasonings & other ingredients after the beans have had a chance to cook.

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81
by: Anonymous

whats wrong with a little gas--energy-fuel..live alone-hahaha

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No soaking required
by: kmbjbb

I do my beans 2 different ways. in the slow cooker or with a slow bake in the oven. I have not pre-soaked beans for over 10 years. If you eat them enough, then will not produce gas once you body is used to them. Go for a few days without any, then you have the gas.

I tend to make my beans ahead of time and freeze in can-sized portions.

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Super important!!
by: Anonymous

Yo girl! Eating unsoaked beans is DANGEROUS! Sounded like you didn't know. Most varieties of beans naturally contain a toxin that when consumed at large, such as drinking the soup the beans cooked in, can make you sick for days. Soaking over night or cooking the beans on the stovetop and allowing them to boil for 5-10 minutes rids then of their toxins

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slow bake?
by: Anonymous

kmbjbb,

How do you slow bake them?

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Beans in the Slow Cooker
by: Anonymous

For my slow cooker beans, the night before cooking I always rinse/wash my beans and soak them in water over night in the slow cooker without turning it on. ... In the morning I add a few more inches of water above the beans if needed. Usually, if you can cover a flat hand on top of the beans with water after they have soaked you will have enough water, since the beans have already soaked up quite a bit through the night. In the morning I add a chopped onion (or two), a couple or three pieces of whole garlic, and a piece of rinsed konbu seaweed (which dissolves completely while cooking). I put the cooker on low with the lid on and let it go for the day. At the end I stir in a bit of my home made veggie broth or salt to taste and a big dollop of organic/unrefined coconut oil. They really turn out good.

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Rice cooker?
by: Equette

Has anyone cooked beans in a rice cooker? My slow cooker is rather large (it's a roaster/slow cooker/dutch oven kind of thing) so I wouldn't want to use it to cook up a cup or so of beans... but my rice cooker... now that's a thought. I put off making beans because I can never get them to come out right so I've just been using caned beans but I have all these bags of dried beans that my neighbor gives to me and I'd like to use them

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slow cooker dry beans
by: Anonymous

If you want to step up the time for cooking dry beans in the slow cooker just preheat the cooker on high - rinse and drain dry beans/place in pot. Add BOILING water to within an inch or more from the top. Toss in a few bay leaves ~ cover and your beans will be ready in an hour or two depending on what variety you are cooking.

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no salt in the cooking
by: Anonymous

Hi, I have read and leaned by experience that it's best to not add salt to the pot when cooking dried beans. For some reason they tend to stay on the hard side. Give it a try and you'll see the difference.

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Do not use a slow cooker for beans, especially kidney
by: Anonymous

I just read your previous article about the toxins in red kidney beans that are either raw or cooked improperly, but you CANNOT cook them in a slow cooker or crock pot. Not only do they need to be cooked adequately, but they must be boiled for at least ten minutes. Actually, cooking them at a lower temperature, as you would in a crock pot, increases the level of toxin five fold. If you insist on using a slow cooker, soak your beans in water overnight, drain the liquid, boil for ten minutes and then you can finish the dish in the slow cooker.

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Absolutely
by: Sassy

We are in complete agreement. :)

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slow cooker
by: Bangles

So no using a slow cooker??

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Here's the lowdown on slow cooking kidney beans
by: Sassy

Yes, you can certainly use a slow cooker. I think the point that has been made is when you are cooking kidney beans be sure to...

a) Soak them overnight (which you should really do for all beans anyway -- I soak all beans for 24 hours but you can get away with no less than 6-8 hours);

b) Drain and rinse.

c) Boil your kidney beans in water for 10-15 minutes before adding them to your slow cooker.

Hope this helps to clear up any confusion. And thanks to all who have contributed to these comments. :)

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Over cooking
by: Anonymous

I have tried to cook my own pinto beans and they NEVER come out right. I am willing to try again. I recently talked to a latino friend and she tipped me off that overcooked pintos turn purple when mashed for refried beans and that she uses Peruvian beans in her recipes. So at least I know why my beans looked purple.

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