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Cooking dry beans is an easy way to use your food storage, plan your meals and save money.

Use 1 pound of dry beans, which measures 2 cups.

Sort beans by pouring a small amount onto a plate to check for debris; small rocks, clods of dirt, or broken beans.

Pour into a colander and rinse well.

Pour beans into a crock pot and add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches.

Start cooking on high until it boils, then turn to medium or low. This takes 6-8 hours depending on the type of beans.

Add salt after the beans are cooked.

Cook enough beans for more than one meal at a time. For storing a day or two, cover and refrigerate. Leftover beans, blended or mashed store well in the freezer for up to a year. Freeze recipe-sized amounts.

Beans are high in complex carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fiber. It has been suggested that 60 pounds of legumes be stored per person for one year. One pound of dry beans equals 2 cups dry or 6 cups cooked. This will provide 8 servings of ¾ cup each. At 60 cents a pound, the cost per serving is about 7.5 cents. One #10 can of beans will provide 40-3/4 cup servings. Beans may be used in green salads, taco salad, soups, chili, burritos, tostadas, chimichangas or as a dip. We recommend storing some beans in smaller quantities in your pantry for easy access.

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