Once in a great while, something comes along that makes great sense, in times when funds are low and nutritional integrity of the food choices I make are high. This is the the case of the black bean. I found that sometimes, when times are a bit tough, or funds are rather dry, making a large batch of something as simple and inexpensive as dry black beans, or red beans, can make all the difference in my nutrition and wallet. Furthermore, they can be made ahead or in advance, and kept in a plastic quart container in the fridge, or frozen and used when needed. I’m glad that I discovered that making these beans takes no time, and can be made the same day or night, without soaking overnight, or pressure cooking them. It literally took me an hour and 15 minutes, from start to finish to cook these gorgeous and healthy beans once the beans were washed and the water had come to a boil. Add your beans and cover, and lower the flame to a simmer. I used a cast iron 7 quart Le Creuset dutch oven (Cocotte), to cook my beans in and they were absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t cook them any other way. (No more canned beans for me, unless in an emergency). Not only do you retain the nutritional value of the product, but also, you save a few dollars in the process and have these for quite a while. I cooked some small red beans in a stainless steel pot, but they took far longer. I will try cooking them again, in a cast iron pot, and see if that makes the difference. Sometimes the medium or pot we choose can make all the difference.