My friends, here is the "quick" way to cook dried beans. Hands-on time is about 5 minutes total. Don't be intimidated!
Start with a 1-pound bag of dry beans:
Dump them in a pot:
Pour in 8 cups of hot water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes:
Remove the pot of beans from heat, cover the beans, and let sit for an hour or so:
After one hour (or so), drain off cooking water from beans. Add another 8 cups of water (hot or cold), bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 45-60 minutes. If water boils down to the level of the beans, just add more. Cook until beans are tender.
One pound of dry beans yields between 5 1/2 and 6 cups of beans, which is about the equivalent of 4 15-ounce cans of beans. For families like mine who eat lots of varieties of beans, we save over $100 per year by cooking with dried beans instead of canned!
You can cook up one bag of beans a week and eat them in different recipes throughout the week. They're great finger foods for babies, good snacks for toddlers, delicious in soups and salads, and versatile in place of meat.