The day that Chloe started eating solid foods, I was over the moon. I really love the baby food puree stage, but I find it so much more gratifying making Chloe foods that she can enjoy alongside the rest of the family. I believe that when a baby sees that the food on the plate in front of her is the same as the food mommy and daddy are eating, it serves as a powerful connection to the group for them.
Beans are an amazing first solid food for babies to try because they’re soft, easy to chew, packed with protein and full of flavor. They’re also great for baby’s developing dexterity as he/she learns to pick up the beans and feed him/herself.
In our house we eat black beans like they’re going out of style. Inexpensive, healthy and easy to store in the fridge, we keep a container of cooked beans on hand at all time to add to recipes like Chicken and Rice Burritos, Black Bean Cakes, Nachos or just to eat on their own or with some brown rice. Whether your family has a bunch of wee ones, big kids or all of the above, black beans are always a good idea.
- 16 ounces (2 cups) dried black beans
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, optional
- The night before you want to cook the beans (about 8-12 hours prior to cooking), cover the beans with water and soak them overnight (this reduces the cooking time of the beans). * If you don’t soak the beans overnight, just double the cooking time in step #5 and keep tasting until the beans are tender.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan.
- Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute.
- Add the bay leaf, black beans, water and salt (if desired). Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender.
- *Allow to cool, place in appropriate tupperware or ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, defrost in a pot over low-medium heat or allow to defrost in fridge for 24-48 hours.
Canned black beans are already cooked, so if you wanted to use this recipe to just doctor them up, you could follow steps 2, 3, 4, and 5, using 1/2 a cup of vegetable or chicken stock for added flavor.
Want to try this recipe and I don’t have dry beans. Could I use a can of black beans and if so how would this affect the recipe would you change anything?
Yes, include the cooking liquid! This will help the beans to not dry out or get freezer burn!
When you freeze the beans, do you include some of the cooking liquid?
Did you add salt at the beginning? That can also keep your beans from becomming tender during the normal cooking time. Try adding salt towards the end of your cooking time and hopefully that will help.
It could be that the beans are too old. 🙁 I’m sorry you’ve had trouble with these! Also, make sure you’re simmering the beans and not boiling. There shouldn’t be lots of bubbles in the liquid during cooking. The occasional bubble is fine, just not constant bubbles!
I have had trouble with beans lately… I soaked my black beans overnight and cooked them for almost 3 hours! They still were not as tender and they should have been. Any input as to why this might be? (Beans too old, brand of beans, cooking wrong…??!)
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Would this also work with kidney beans?
Thanks for the recipe. I love using beans. I also love that my twins are now out of the pureed food stage. It makes life so much easier to feed everyone the same thing. I love that this is also something that they can try to feed themselves.