Your Simple, Zero-Waste Guide To Boiling & Storing Beans For Max Nutrition

April 18, 2018
Beans are an essential staple in a vegan's diet. They provide many key nutrients and are so darn versatile. I'm talking dips, purees, strews, curries... While eating any beans is better than no beans, let me briefly break down why you should be boiling your beans not buying them in cans: 1. Buying dry beans saves you about 3x the $$ 2. Canned beans often come with a HUGE amount of sneaky salt 3. BPA is often used in the cans the beans come in 4. Canned beans = unnecessary packaging For awhile I bought canned beans thinking it was "too much work" to boil them. Although it does require a touch of planning, it's the easiest "cooking" you'll ever do. Choose a day to boil your beans when you'll be at home for a few hours already. Perhaps a day you planned on having a Netflix binge. You'll catch up on Stranger Things and have a big 'ol batch of beans, that's a win-win. Tips for buying beans 1. Buy from the bulk section. This will: a. Ensure you get the freshest beans that haven't been sitting on a shelf (think optimal nutritional value) b. Cut down on packaging 2. Be thoughtful about bags When you go to the store: a. bring your own re-usable produce bag b. instead of using the plastic bags in the dry produce aisle, check out the fresh produce section and see if they have biodegradable bags that you can use instead. A note on the prep and cook time: The prep time of 8 hours includes allowing the beans to soak overnight. For the cook time, not all beans require the full three hours--some varieties require an hour only. Periodically check on your beans as you cook them.
Your Simple Guide to Boiling + Storing Beans

Your Simple, Zero-Waste Guide To Boiling & Storing Beans For Max Nutrition

Recipe Type: Allergen Free
utensils YIELDS 5 Cups
herb graphic for recipe card
  • ~1 pound Beans, any type
        graphic for recipe card


1. Place dry beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight.
2. Strain and quickly rinse the beans.
3. To a large pot, add beans.
4. Cover with water.
5. Bring them to a boil (very important!)
6. Cover the pot and let the beans simmer for 1-3 hours*
7. Once soft, strain the beans.
8. Store in the fridge/ freezer** *Periodically check on the beans. Sometimes the beans take a very long time to cook, sometimes they cook much faster. It all depends on the type of bean, the quality, the freshness of the bean.... If you overcook the beans, don't despair - hummus and dips love a good soft bean. If it's been two hours and your beans are still hard, stick with it! They'll soften up eventually. **Can store in the fridge/ freezer in glass or plastic containers. I also like wrapping up small amounts of beans in some parchment paper and twisting the top. You can put tons of these "bean balls" in the freezer for when you next want to use beans. This way, you don't have to waste any tupperware, and you can compost the parchment paper once you're done. I also like this method because my dog eats beans as part of his diet- it's backup beans for both him and me!

Also by Bella: Try This Hack For Perfect Baked Veggies Sans Foil, Oil, Or Messy Clean-Up

Related: Creamy, Comforting Curried Mung Beans & Veggies

Quick-Cooking Boston Baked Beans

Get more like thisSubscribe to our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!

__ Photos: Devin Macy via Unsplash, Bella Gadsby

More Stories

Bella is a writer and actor based in LA. She was raised vegetarian and, after two failed attempts at being vegan, the conversion finally stuck in 2015 when she realized not all chocolate contained dairy. After this discovery, Bella fell deep down the endless rabbit hole of vegan cooking, she may or may not have been seen since. Follow Bella on Instagram @thegreatbgadsby.


always stay inspired!