Is it cheaper? Basic Vegan Beans

Vegan beans recipe from Ask Katie
  • Total recipe cost | R 57.89
  • Recipe yields | 4 kilograms
  • Cost per 100g | R 1.45

Beans are just part of any vegan’s staple diet. That’s the way it is. In my world, beans are essential; they’re the basis of tacos, nachos and burritos – meals we often eat in my home. 

While opening a tin of beans is super easy, it becomes expensive when you eat them as often as we do. So, it’s always been worth making beans from scratch. Now I know just how much they cost. 

Basic Vegan Beans

Vegan basic beans recipe

Yields: 4 kilograms

  • 1 kilogram dry sugar beans | R 40.00
  • 2 onions, diced | R 3.50
  • 4 chilli peppers, chopped | R 0.60
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced R | 3.60
  • 1 tablespoon cumin | R 5.15
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika | R 2.76
  • 3 tablespoons salt | R 0.53
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper | R 1.75
  • 12 cups water | R 0.00

Make the beans | Toss everything into a large slower cooker. Set to high, and cook for 8-10 hours.

Cool and freeze | Allow the beans to cool to room temperature. Scoop into freezer-friendly containers and freeze until needed.

  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 hours
  • Total time: 10 hours

Is it cheaper to make or buy cooked beans?

It’s definitely cheaper to cook dried beans from scratch. And, they freeze really well, so it’s worth making a huge batch, as the recipe calls for.

In fact, as the recipe makes about 4 kilograms of beans, that’s the same as buying 10 tins from Woolworths. That would set you back R 240 instead of almost R 58. That’s a whopping R 182 savings. In any given meal, that’s a savings of R 36 – cause we eat a lot of beans. 

Woolworths

R 23.99 | 400g

R 6.00 per 100g

Pick n Pay

R 19.99 | 410g

R 4.88 per 100g

Checkers

R 18.99 | 410g

R 4.63 per 100g

Listen, there are other brands, and you’ll find them at Spar and independent grocery stores, perhaps even at Checkers. But, this clearly shows the different in pricing available, if you’re willing to shop around. 

Where would I buy vegan beans in Johannesburg?

The truth is that I’m a fan of the Koo sugar beans if I need to go the tin route (like if I’m packing for a few days at a self-catering spot in the mountains). Otherwise, I start to panic if I don’t have the equivalent of 2 tins of my homemade beans in the freezer. 

But, I’m really a fan of the beans at Chiapas in  Rosebank. But then, they’re covered with all sorts of delicious salsas and served with fresh fried chips. 

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