You will find below a quick picture guide on how to prepare your own beans. Once cooked and frozen, simply add them to your cooking or use in your packed lunch salad (they will be defrosted by the time you have your lunch and might even help keep your food a little cooler on hot days). Although the pictures relate to butter beans, the process is the same for all dried beans.
1. Leave the beans in a large bowl of water overnight. The next day, they will have doubled in size.
2. Cook the beans in a large saucepan with water. I like to add one bay leave for flavour. Read the back of the packet for more accurate cooking instructions/times as it might vary depending on the type of bean.
Butter bean are great to thicken soups (they will need to get roughly mashed/squashed) or added to stews.
You might be interested in reading another post I wrote a while back on dried beans.