Slow cooker baked beans are a great dinner option for people who have busy lives but still want to eat well with minimal effort. You can time it just right so that you start your beans before you leave for work, and come home to a wholesome, and ready-to-eat bowl of beans.
People who eat beans regularly have higher likelihood of having a healthy bodyweight. They are high in fiber, filling, and offer a decent amount of protein, as well (about 12 grams per serving).
Depending on what kinds of beans you cook, you can also get a number of essential nutrients, including iron, B Vitamins, manganese, folate, Vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, magnesium, and more.
The other benefit to slow cooker beans, aside from the fact that they are significantly cheaper than buying by the typical smaller units, is that they are healthier than their prepackaged versions; you get to control the sodium content, and they wont run the risk of having traces of BPA leaked from their cans (something that some studies suggest can interfere with your endocrine system).
You will need
• 1-2 lbs of dry beans
• Other seasonings (cumin, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, savory, cayenne pepper, etc)
• A Slow cooker
Slow Cooked Bake Beans Recipe
This recipe can be applied to just about any kind of this type of legume out there; black, northern, kidney, pinto, etc. The exact amount of each ingredient that you use is largely going to depend on the size of your slow cooker and the flavor that you want.
Soak the dry legumes
They will need to soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Pour them into the crock pot and fill it with cold water, well over the level of the beans (they swell to at least twice the original fill level).
Once they have soaked, drain the water and rinse the beans thoroughly.
Add at least 8 cups of water to your presoaked beans, and then turn your slow cooker on high. This is when you should add salt and pepper, or any other spices you like. If you are a meat lover, you can also add different raw meats to make for a heartier meal.
Most dry legume packages say to cook them for 2 hours but I have never found that to be long enough to make for a good tasting, completely cooked finished product. In fact, we typically cook ours more along the lines of 8-10 hours, but the exact time will depend on how long they were presoaked, how high of a heat setting your crock pot has, and what exact kind of bean you’re cooking.
Towards the last 2-4 hours of cooking, you can change up the flavor by adding tomatoes, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, vinegar, and the like.
How to time the baking so that they are ready to eat when you come home from work
We do this all the time and I love it because no matter how busy your day is, you can have a hot dinner without spending extra time in the kitchen when you want to just kick your feet up.
Here’s how we do it; the night before you want them for dinner, presoak your beans. The next morning, drain them and start the cooking process just before you leave for work (this is assuming you work an 8 hour shift). When you get home, your beans will be ready to eat.
Caution/Disclaimer: Leaving a crock pot on when you aren’t home can be hazardous if you have anything nearby that could ignite. It is also very important to make these slow cooker baked beans on a few trial runs while you are home in order to make sure that you add enough water so that they don’t dry out, that the heat is not too high, and so on. It is well worth taking the time to get the hang of the timing because of how convenient it is once you are well rehearsed.