Black beans have been a household staple ever since my family moved to Guatemala when I was seven years old, but this year I discovered a new, delicious way to cook them! After experimenting with several different methods (pressure cooker, stove top, and slow cooker), I settled on the slow cooker (I love this slow cooker* – we have had it since 2008) as the best way to make black beans. The addition of an orange adds delicious citrus accents – and a Vitamin C boost! I make this recipe in bulk, and freeze some of it to add to soups and casseroles, like these kid-friendly enchiladas.
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Orange-Infused Slow Cooker Black Beans Recipe
These Orange-infused slow cooker black beans are easy to make but they do take some planning ahead. Here are the steps:
Note: these steps include soaking black beans, which some research shows is actually not necessary. If you cook your beans starting dry, make sure you add a lot of extra water and check the water level during the day.
- Start the dry black beans soaking in water at least 28-32 hours before you plan to eat them (28 hours if you want to cook them on high for 4 ours; 32 hours if you plan to cook on low for 8 hours). Some types of black beans absorb more water than others, but I typically need to add at least twice as much water as black beans; sometimes more.
- 4 (or 8) hours before serving: pour the soaking water off and rinse your beans well. You want the rinse water to run clear. Place the soaked beans in your slow cooker, and add enough water to cover them with at least 1/4” of water.
- Slice an orange and add the whole slices to the top of the slow cooker.
- Cook for 4 or 8 hours, depending which setting you picked. At the end of cooking, your slow cooker will look like this:
- Remove the orange slices. You can squeeze the orange juice into the beans or not – if you do, the beans will be slightly sweeter with a stronger orange flavor; if you don’t they will still have citrus accents. Remove any excess water, salt to taste, and serve.
We like to eat ours black beans with steamed brown rice, salsa, corn chips, and grated cheddar cheese. We also add avocados when we have them. Delicious!
If you are looking for a rice cooker, I recommend this stainless steel rice cooker that we have owned for nearly four years now. Be sure to put the steamer basket between the rice compartment and the lid to avoid messes; I also find that my rice does best if I unplug the cooker as soon as it is done cooking rather than letting it switch over to the warm setting.
What is a staple dish that your family enjoys?