If you prepare a lot of vegan meals (like me), you probably go through a lot of beans! Like, A LOT! If I were to use canned beans, I would easily go through a minimum of 4 cans per week. There is however a much more cost-effective way to consume beans. That is to meal prep beans, aka cooking dried beans in bulk!
But, cooking beans from scratch whenever you need some for a meal sounds like too much work? I have a solution for you! Cook them in bulk and store them in the freezer in easy-to-use portions. Meal prep beans for the win!
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Meal Prepping beans is an easy 3-step system:
- Soak dried beans
- Cook soaked beans in the Instant Pot
- Store cooked beans in easy-to-use portions in the freezer
Meal prepping beans following this easy 3-step system is not only a much more cost-effective way to consume beans, but it is more delicious too! Lastly, it is a super convenient way to eat a wide variety of these nutritional powerhouses on a weekly basis.
This post is all about How To Meal Prep Beans!
1. Soak Dried Beans
This first step is kind of optional but highly recommended. According to researchers, soaking beans not only helps beans to cook faster and more evenly, but also makes them easier to digest.
This is because soaking reduces raffinose, stachyose, and verbascose contents in the beans. They are types of carbohydrates that are indigestible by humans and can cause bloating and gas.
Soak dried beans by generously covering them with water! The ratio of water to dried beans should be about 3 cups of water per 1 cup of beans. Ideally, soak the beans for 12 hours. Drain and rinse them before cooking them.
2. Cook Soaked Beans In The Instant Pot
Once the beans are soaked, cook them in the Instant Pot.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, there are of course other ways to cook beans. You could use a stove-top pressure cooker or even a normal pot on the stove! However, if you meal prep regularly, especially vegan meals, I HIGHLY recommend investing in an Instant Pot.
An Instant Pot is a multifunctional kitchen appliance, which allows you to cook anything from rice, and beans, to curries and soups. It is a very hands-off tool, which doesn’t take up space on your stovetop while prepping. Most importantly, it gets things done extremely fast!
On average, the Instant Pot takes 6-9 minutes to cook pre-soaked beans!
To make every bean cooking session worthwhile, cook beans in bulk! In the next step, you will understand why.
3. Store Cooked Beans In Easy-To-Use Portions In The Freezer
Once the beans are cooked, the real magic happens!!
Set aside the beans you need immediately. Freeze the rest in freezer pods. This way you will have easy-to-use portions of beans on-hand anytime you need them.
I recommend using 1/2 cup freezer pods, just because 1/2 cup is the perfect serving of beans per meal.
Have you ever opened a can of beans, used half of them, and the rest got wasted? No more! Freeze whatever you don’t use for next time!
Once the beans have frozen into easy-to-use serving sizes, you can transfer them into freezer bags. This way you avail your freezer pods to freeze more beans. Quickly you will have built a freezer bean stash that will allow you to eat a variety of beans conveniently, for cheap.
I’m in love with this system. Anytime I’m meal prepping a recipe that requires beans, I just defrost the exact amount of beans I need.
How To Meal Prep Beans
- 2 cups dried beans
- 6 cups water to soak
- water to cook
- Soak the dried beans in water for 12 hours. For every 1 cup of beans, use 3 cups of water.
- Drain the soaking water and rinse the beans!
- Add the soaked beans to the Instant Pot and generously cover them with water. Cook the soaked beans in the Instant Pot. The amount of time the beans need to cook for will depend on the type of beans. It takes 4-5 minutes to cook soaked black-eyed peas, while it takes 10-15 minutes to cook soaked chickpeas.
Meal Prep Recipes With Beans:
- One-Pot Cheesy Chickpea Broccoli and Rice Meal Prep – Super Cheap Vegan Meal Prep
- The Easiest Vegan Black Bean Enchiladas
- Vegan Teriyaki Eggplant Bowl
This post was all about How To Meal Prep Beans!
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