Homemade beans are so much better than canned for 2 (actually, possibly 3) reasons.
1) No can to worry about (is it BPA-free? What else is in that liner? Did I get shards in the food when I opened it? Better make sure and skim everything!).
2) Soaking in an acidic medium neutralizes the aflatoxins (per Nourishing Traditions) and makes the nutrients more bioavailable.
3) You control the ingredients, tenderness, and flavor.
4) It makes organic beans more affordable... Okay, that's 4 reasons. I'm sure there are more :).
Here is my weekly or bi-weekly regime:
1. Put 2 pounds dry organic beans in a big stock pot. We prefer the little red beans but right now I'm soaking kidney beans.
2. Squirt the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (strain the seeds as you squeeze) or about 1 tablespoon of organic lemon or lime juice over the beans. In the picture you can see the darker beans where I squirted the juice over them.
3. Add enough water to cover the beans and then that much more... so twice as much as needed to cover the dry beans. They will swell and absorb a lot of water. If the water level goes down to the beans during soaking, add more water.
4. Soak overnight or soak all day. With me it just depends on when I finally get around to doing it! I've been known to soak all day and all night! If it gets frothy you can skim off the froth or dump some of the water and add a little fresh water.
5. Drain, rinse, drain.
7. Cover with fresh water (filtered preferred), again doubling the amount to cover them or to the top of the stock pot. I fill it almost to the brim because one of the meals we get out of this batch of beans is usually bean soup (quasi-Salvadorean style).
Crockpot: The crockpot is my preferred method but it's been in storage for about a year now. I like to cook it on low for all night and the next day for it to be ready just in time for dinner. Other times I would cook it all day and then all night and the kids would gobble it all up for breakfast if I didn't stand guard! They make a really good breakfast, by the way! You could try high for all day (or just all night) and test it.
This is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday.