Recipe for Cooking Dried Beans
I don’t think there are many people out there who have children that haven’t heard the crude rhyme they come home repeating at some point during their elementary school years. “Beans, beans are good for your heart, the more that you eat the more that you _____”. I will let you fill in that blank for yourself! At least I know that rhyme runs rampant in the elementary school in this part of the country. I don’t know who started it, but at least they had one thing correct - beans are good for your heart! Beans are good for your body in more ways than you might realize.
Dried beans and other pulses/legumes are relatively inexpensive yet offer a healthful way to include nutrient-rich foods in the daily diet. According to the United Stated Department of Agriculture, analyses show that people who eat beans consume more vitamins and minerals than individuals who don’t eat beans.
Beans have been given a bad reputation over the years. They have been often considered food for the “poor”, but that may be because they are so inexpensive. Many years in the past, beans were the perfect traveling food for Native Americans and Pioneers alike. They do not require refrigeration, and can be cooked in nothing more than water if that is all available. Beans are also versatile in the fact they can be made different ways and incorporated into other dishes after cooking. Refried beans, bean dip, charro beans, and even bean pie! Don’t let those simple little legumes fool you, they are amazing!
So next time you consider
cooking beans, don’t let that childish rhyme deter you, beans have a lot to
offer your health and your menu!
Basic Bean Recipe for Cooking Dried Beans
These lovely burgundy and white beans are an heirloom variety first cultivated in the American Southwest in the Four Corners region of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah by the Anasazi or Ancient Ones around 130 CE. They are a sweeter and mealier bean, and contain less of the gas-causing carbohydrates of many other beans of this class. I was introduced to them via a gift basket, but have been unable to find them for sale anywhere in this area. They can be ordered through Adobe Milling Company out of Dove Creek, Colorado.
2 cups dried beans, picked
and sorted, then washed (yes, beans can have rocks and such in them)
Optional additions: (I almost always add these
Add the crushed garlic cloves and jalapeņo chile peppers; bring the water just to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium low and cook until the beans are soft and just almost done, approximately 2 hours.
At this time, you can also add the optional additions of bacon, cumin, chile powder, and/or paprika. You can use whatever of these you like, or whatever combination you prefer. You might want to consider what you will be serving the beans with, and let that help you determine your additions. You don’t want to overpower the taste of the beans. After adding any of these, cook for another hour.
Once the beans are done, add
the salt and pepper. Do not add salt until after the beans
are at least 80% cooked, as this will make the outer hull of the beans tough.
Using Slow Cooker (crock pot) - If you prefer to use a slow cooker, follow the same procedure for soaking the beans overnight, and then place the beans in your cooker and cover with water. As with the previous recipe, do not add the spices of salt until after the beans are almost done. Cooking bean in the slow cooker will take a minimum of 12 hours on low to cook to done.
leave them on low for a day or more (up to three days), by simply adding water
when needed. This way you have a continuous pot of beans going that people can
serve themselves from, or you can dip into to use in other recipes or in your
Using Pressure Cooker - You will also follow the same procedure of soaking overnight. Once the beans are rinsed, cover with water, making sure not to go over your pressure cookers recommendation for the depth of water and food. Place the pressure cooker over medium high heat, and bring it up so that it is steaming. Reduce to medium and allow to cook 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and release steam according to the manufactures’ instructions.
Add the spices and other optional choices, replace the lid securely and once again bring up to pressure over medium high heat. This time only let the beans cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the temperature come down on its own without releasing the steam. Check carefully to make certain all the pressure is off before releasing the valve or opening the top.
You can now place the cooked beans in a bowl and serve, or use them in whatever other recipe you desire.
Makes about 8 servings.
I was born (1939) and raised in Dove Creek, CO. I was raised on Anasazi Beans and have cooked them for over 60 yrs. If you watch in markets, you can find these beans from "Midland Bean Co", Dove Creek, CO. I have also found them at Sam's Club, Fry's (Krogers), and Safeway. When cooking beans, add salt to the water first, and let soak. DO NOT add any tomato product until beans are fully cooked, as they will be mealy no matter how long you cook them.
If you are not aware of it,
Dove creek is known as the Pinto Bean Center of the World. My Great Grandfather
was one of the first pioneers to raise pinto beans in Dove Creek, so pinto beans
has been a family dish for generations. - Darrold G Parker