Your Questions Answered: Cooking Tips and Recipes

QUESTION: I've recently started using dried beans, but I haven't been able
to figure out the ratios of dried to cooked beans. Any rough estimates on that?

I am a big fan of dried of beans, and I don’t think I’ve used canned beans in well over a year!

Typically, what I do is soak and cook* a whole bag of beans at a time. This will make a hefty amount of beans, which I’ll then let cool and then I’ll freeze** and store for later. Then, whenever I need some, I’ll just measure out the amount by using my digital kitchen scale. As a rule of thumb, most cans of beans are 15 ounces, so I weigh out that amount of beans. It’s best if you let them thaw before measuring, but I usually just weigh them while they’re still frozen and my recipes have all turned out fine.

Things do get a little more difficult if you don’t have a kitchen scale. But I did some research and found that about 1½ cups of dried beans that have already been cooked equal one 15-ounce can of beans, according to the American Dry Bean Board. Or, if you’re starting with dried beans, you’ll need to measure out 2/3 cup of the dried beans so that, once cooked, they’ll be about 1½ cups.

* For some more information, here's a previous post I made to walk readers through cooking dried beans.

** To make freezing easier, make sure your beans are cooled and drained, then spread them out in a single layer on a wax piece of paper on a large cookie sheet. Let them freeze for about an hour, then you can pull them out, pop them off the wax paper and store them in a freezer bag. You might have to do this in batches depending on how many beans you’ve cooked. Then, when you want to use them, you just heat them up in the microwave or stovetop and, since they’re already cooked, they’re ready in minutes!

I’m trying to get away from Splenda in my coffee. I see
you are using a simple syrup that you make. What is your recipe?

Yes, I do make my own simple syrup, which, like its name suggests, is really simple to make! I just made a new batch this morning.

All you do is put 1 cup of water into a sauce pan. Add 1 cup of sugar. Turn the heat on and stir occasionally until all the sugar dissolves. There's your simple syrup! Then, I just store mine in a small jar that’s easy to pour from and add it to my coffee each morning with a little half and half!

I know you can also add flavorings and once I added some vanilla extract, but I couldn't tell the difference so now I just keep it this straightforward. Let me know if you try it out!

What Other Questions Do You Have For Me?
Recently, I invited you to ask me any questions you might have that I could answer in upcoming posts, whether it's follow-up regarding anything I've written about in the past, curiosities regarding any of my personal experiences, or your general blogging questions.

In the following weeks I will continue to respond to your questions, so please feel free to ask any that come to mind in the comments below or send me an email. I have some questions in the queue regarding my thoughts on tattoos and some kitchen insights, so those and more to come! 


  1. We've made the switch to dry beans too, but just this week were talking about how we desperately need a method to cook and store them so we aren't doing it before each meal. So I'm gonna try this!

  2. We always use dried beans in our home as well, they make recipes turn out so much better and much more affordable. I have a favorite white chili that we make often, and it is perfect!
    Check out the recipe here:

  3. Very interesting article will have to try some beans!


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