I had never tried cooking beans in my slow cooker before, so I followed the directions from EatingWell Magazine‘s Slow-Cooked Beans, and also added 1 teaspoon of dried oregano and several grinds of freshly cracked black pepper:
- 1 pound dried beans, such as cannellini beans, black beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, great northern beans or pinto beans
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
5 cups boiling water
- Soak beans in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.)
- Drain the beans and place them in a slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Pour in boiling water. Cook, covered, on high until beans are tender, 2 to 3 1/2 hours. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste), cover, and cook for 15 minutes more.
- Drain any excess cooking liquid. Remove large chunks of onion and bay leaves. Cool and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Yield: Six 1-cup servings