One pound (2 cups) dried beans makes about 6 cups cooked beans, the equivalent of 4 cans of canned beans.
Rinse dried beans in a colander and check them for any impurities, such as small stones. Put beans in a container with 3 times as much water as beans. Cover and soak for 8 to 12 hours at room temperature.
Drain beans in a colander and put in a heavy pot of a size appropriate to the amount of beans you’re making. Add water to cover beans by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the foam that rises to the top.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours. Check occasionally and add more water if necessary. (If water level is too low the beans on the top of the pot will not cook as well as the ones on the bottom.)
Cooking times can vary according to the type and age of the beans. To test for doneness, just eat a bean and see if it’s soft to your liking. If you are cooking beans to be used in soups, you will want them to be tender, but not too soft. If you are cooking beans to be used for hummus, you’ll want them to be rather soft.
Article copyright © 2014 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart © Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.