Begin by rinsing the beans and placing them in a large container with the needed water. Per 1 cup of beans, you'll need between 4-5 cups of fresh, cold water. Remember every 1 cup of dried beans will become 2.5 cups of cooked beans.
Leave these to soak for at least 6 hours or overnight, at room temperature ( alternatively, use the boil soak method in the notes). During the soak time, the beans will expand 2-2.5x their size so make sure that your container is big enough for this.
After soaking, drain the water and rinse the beans thoroughly, once more. Next, it's time to cook your beans.
To cook them, place the soaked beans in a large pot and cover with water (4-5 cups of fresh water). *
Bring to a boil, boil for 10 minutes and then simmer for a further 30 minutes. Cooking time may vary slightly- so keep an eye after around 25 minutes.
Stir occasionally so all beans cook evenly. During the cooking process, a foam can appear on the top of the water. This can easily be scooped out.** If the beans soak up all the water before the time is up, add more boiling hot water (from the kettle) to cover them.
They are cooked when they have a creamy, tender texture. Once the beans have finished cooking, drain the liquid.
If freezing the beans, first leave them to cool down completely after cooking them. You can rinse them with cold water, to help speed up the process.
Separate in convenient portions and store in freezer-safe glass containers ( boxes or freezer bags will work). Keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
For shorter-term storage, these beans can be kept in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the fridge. Just make sure that the beans are put in the fridge or freezer within two hours of them being cooked. Otherwise, bacteria can start to grow. When you want to use the frozen beans, take out of the freezer and thaw. You can add them to meals while cooking, or just reheat them by themselves.
Soaking your beans is said to speed up their cooking time, make them easier to digest ( getting rid of the phyto acid and Phytohaemagglutinin in the beans). It also helps them cook more evenly.
Long soak: The easiest way to soak your beans is with a long soak. For this, you can either place them in a large pot for at least 6 hours or overnight, at room temperature.Boil Soak: This is a 'quick soak' method, for those who need beans for the same day. Simply cover the beans with water and boil for three minutes. Then turn off the heat and leave the beans to stand for a minimum of 1 hour ( I usually leave them for 2). This method can actually reduce the cooking time of the beans by 5-8 minutes.
In terms of the ratio of water to beans, I always go for 4 or 5:1 so 4-5 cups of water per 1 cup of dried beans.
The bean math= 1 cup of dried beans results in 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans.
* Some people may want to use the same soaking water to then cook the beans, however, I definitely advise against this as the soaking water will have absorbed the nasty stuff that can upset your gut and body. There may also still be some slight sediment in the water, that you likely don't want tagging along for the whole cooking process.
** I've also heard that adding a little oil to the pan can reduce this.
Recipe on Alphafoodie: https://www.alphafoodie.com/how-to-prep-cook-and-freeze-dried-red-kidney-beans/