Kick the Can


I keep reading warnings about BPA from the lining of cans.  Unfortunately, products that advertise “BPA-free” tend to be pretty expensive.  Therefore, I’ve been moving towards using canned goods less frequently.  For example, I used to buy canned beans on almost a weekly basis.  Now, I buy the dried organic beans in bulk, and prepare them myself.

It’s taken some time to learn how to prepare beans, but once you figure it out, it’s smooth sailing.  I’ll usually cook a batch or two of beans on the weekend, and then either keep them in the fridge for that week, or freeze them for use later.  I still keep a couple of cans of beans in the pantry just in case, but only use them if I unexpectedly run out of my own.

Today, I knew I’d be home for a few hours, so I decided to cook some beans on the stove.  There’s a black bean burger recipe I’m dying to try out this week!  I figured I’d take advantage of the situation and cooked both black beans and pinto beans.

The following is one of two methods I regularly use to prepare beans.  The alternate method replaces the “quick soak” for 1 hour, with an overnight soak (uses room temp. water, instead of hot water).


  • Rinse and drain beans
  • In a pot with the beans, add enough water to be a 2:1 ratio with the beans.
  • Turn stove to high and bring the water to a boil.
  • Once boiling, turn the stove off, and place the lid on the pot.  Let sit for 1 hour (i.e. go off and do whatever.  No need to be stuck in the kitchen!  If you don’t get back for an hour and 15 min., that’s okay!  NBD.).

  • After an hour-ish, most of the water should have been absorbed by the beans.  Drain what remains and rinse the beans.
  • Add clean water to the pot, place back onto the stove and turn the stove on to low.
  • Place lid, slightly ajar, on the pot.
Boiling beans
  • Simmer beans for 1 hour, or until desired “doneness”.
  • Remove from heat, drain, and package them up as desired!

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