The BEST Slow Cooker Black Beans

Real food eating is amazing.....but it ain't cheap. Amirite?

The BEST Slow Cooker Black Beans

Through my many years of clean real food eating, I have felt the sting of many a pricey grocery bill. Grocery bills that have made me cringe. Grocery bills that almost made me give up on real food and go back to the processed junk that is (for some insane reason) often cheaper. 

The BEST Slow Cooker Black Beans

Thank goodness I didn't give up. Thank goodness I stuck with my belief in the importance of real food in our lives. Thank goodness I found tricks and recipes that are wholesome, delicious and super-duper budget friendly. Thank goodness for beans.

Beans are a wonderful real food kitchen staple to have on hand. Especially the dry ones! About as cost efficient as real food gets, dry beans are a wonderful way to feed a crowd for pennies or make a grocery budget stretch a little further. 

I've been making my beans from dry for years and don't forsee myself every going back to the canned ones. The taste and texture of freshly cooked beans is so much better and, when made properly, much kinder to the digestive system than than the canned variety. 

And this recipe is absolutely a bean recipe you NEED to have. Because, this is the recipes for the BEST Slow Cooker Black Beans....ever. 

Seriously. Not to toot my own horn, but these really are the bee's knees. 

Everyone I have made these black beans for raves about them (adult, kid, vegan, vegetarian, omnivore...they all love them). These slow cooker beans are not your "blah" black beans, as they full of savory spices and magnificent flavors. They almost melt in your mouth. I gave them the name BEST Slow Cooker Black Beans for a reason....because they are! And now I am sharing this glory with you guys. Because you guys are my people and I love ya guys.

The BEST Slow Cooker Black Beans

I love to throw my black beans into soak during my weekly Sunday meal prep and then make these beans in my slow cooker for an easy Meatless Monday dinner. But they are also great when feeding a crowd or just to enjoy whenever the mood strikes you. Which it will. Often. I have some beans soaking right now because my husband can't get enough of these black beans....and neither can I. 

Why Soak Your Dry Beans?

This will be a question several of you will undoubtedly have....and for good reason. Many of us grew up eating beans out of a can or if we did eat beans cooked from dry, our parents likely just threw them in a pot as is without soaking. So questioning the addition of the extra step of soaking your beans before cooking them is understandable, since we are all busy people and don't have time for unnecessary steps.

But the step of soaking your dry beans is one I strongly encourage you NOT TO SKIP. Why, you ask? You might remember that silly saying from our childhood "Beans, beans the musical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot." Well, the soaking of beans will help you to be a little less musical after eating them. The soaking process helps breakdown and remove some of those indigestible sugars hanging out in beans and are the main culprits of causing all that gassy action.  So for the sake of your belly and those who you hang out with, I encourage you to soak those beans!

The BEST Slow Cooker Black Beans

How To Soak Your Beans

My preferred method for soaking my beans in to do it overnight. A good long soak does everyone some good, but especially beans. So let's give our beans all the luxuries that we want in life.

Before you soak your beans, give them a good rinse to get all the dirt and stuff off and pick through your dry beans to make sure there aren't any little rocks trying to hang out in your dinner (black beans are a bit notorious for having little rocks in them).

Once all that rinsing and picking through is done, simply throw your beans into a bowl and cover them with 2-3 inches of clean water. Throw a clean dishtowel over the bowl to keep random debris and insects from ending up in the bowl with your beans and let the bowl hang out at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. 

If you are super short on time, you can do a "quick soak". Put the rinsed and picked over beans in a medium pot and cover with the 2-3 inches of water. Bring the beans and water to a boil on the stove. Once they start boiling, remove them from the heat and let them hang out in the hot water covered for about an hour.

Love budget-friendly slow cooker recipes? Try my Crockpot Pinto Beans too!

The BEST Slow Cooker Black Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried black beans, picked over, rinsed, soaked overnight and rinsed again
  • 1 cup salsa (I used mild since I was serving it to children)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups bell pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups of water

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in your slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours (checking after 3 hours to see if the beans are done) or on high for 7-8 hours (checking after 7 hours to see if beans are done).
  3. Once the beans are done cooking, remove the bay leaves.
  4. Enjoy warm! Use a slotted spoon to drain off extra liquid and serve beans over rice, quinoa or a salad. Top with avocado, extra salsa or shredded cheese. If storing leftovers, allow beans to cool completely before transferring beans and some of the cooking liquid to an air-tight container. Store beans in fridge for up to 5 days or in freezer for up to a month.

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