Ready to use dried beans

dried butter beans soaking in a bowl of water overnight

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.

dried butter beans boiling away in saucepan3. Once cooked, drain and leave to cool. Place the beans in several small freezer bags for convenience. You may even want to weight them to make sure they are all the same size!

dried butter beans cooked, cooled and baged4. Flatten the bags so that they take little space in the freezer. It will also be easier for you to take a few beans if you don’t want to use a whole bag.

dried butter beans cooked, baged and ready for freezer

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.