What type of spices do you use when cooking (dried) beans?

United States
August 4, 2008 3:39pm CST
I've always hated cooking beans in a crock pot. For some reason they always turn out bland tasting. But the other day I found a secret that made my crock pot beans taste so much better. After cooking for the recommended amount of time, I transferred my black eye peas to a bowl along with some chopped red bell peppers, black pepper, basil, chopped onions (and sufficient water for cooking) and let them cook until tender. They came out perfectly! Then I added my secret ingredient, two tablespoons of Taco Bell Salsa in the finished bean dish. My hubby says they are the best beans he's ever eaten. What are your favorite spices when cooking with dried beans? Do you have any secret ingredients that always make your crock pot dishes taste better?