Cooking Dry Beans in a Slow Cooker is Easy

A simple routine of soak, rinse, cook will take at least 8 hours, but only a few minutes of hands-on work by the cook. With a crockpot, most of the cooking of beans can happen without the cook’s presence.

Warnings about Beans and Slow Cookers
Some sources claim that beans will not cook in a crock-pot. While that may have been true 15 to 20 years ago, the Washington Post reports that newer slow cookers cook at a higher temperature than older models. These new models cook most varieties of beans quite well.

Warning about Kidney and Soy Beans
Uncooked red kidney beans contain a toxin (Kidney Bean Lectin or Phytohaemagglutnin) that causes food-poisoning like symptoms. Uncooked Soya beans contain an anti-trypsin factor (or trypsin inhibitor) which prevents the assimilation of the amino acid methionine. Both substances are destroyed by high temperatures in a few minutes. Slow cookers may not get sufficiently hot to destroy the toxins in kidney beans especially, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, so cooking these 2 varieties of beans in crock pots is not recommended.

Ingredients for Cooked Beans
  • 1 cup of beans
  • 3 cups of water plus water for soaking

Step 1: Soak Dried Beans Before Cooking
Most beans ­­– lentils, split peas, and black-eyed peas are exceptions – should be soaked for at least 4 hours prior to cooking. Such soaking begins breaking down the complex sugars (oligosaccharides) that cause flatulence and reduces cooking time, which reduces vitamin and mineral loss from long cooking times.

Some beans require much longer soak times. Hard beans such as fava, lima, garbanzo, and soya beans should be soaked for at least 8 hours.

Step 2: Rinse Soaked Beans Before Cooking
Many cooks warn to never cook beans in soak water for two primary reasons. First, the by discarding the soak water, the cook also discards most of the flatulence- causing carbohydrates that have been leaching out of the beans during the soak. Second, beans are not washed with water when processed from field to supermarket. Rinsing soaked beans removes dirt and undesirable substances from the dried bean.

Step 3: Cooking Beans in a Slow Cooker
For beans alone, combine water and beans in slow cooker and cook on low for 5-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, depending on the variety of beans.

About 5 hours on low is sufficient for al dente beans – beans designated for cooking is soups or other crock pot recipes or that will be store in the freezer. About 6 hours should result in soft but not mushy beans. And 7 hours is the choice for beans that will be mashed or should be very, very soft.

Unfortunately, there is no universal cooking times chart for beans. Water hardness, altitude, freshness of beans, and method of bean storage can all affect cooking times. Many bean cooks will cook their beans on low and check them an hour or so before they think they will be done. For a new variety of beans, checking every have hour or so after the 4 hour mark.

Enjoy Inexpensive, Healthful Beans in Favorite Recipes
Considering that the cost of dried beans plus energy cost for cooking is still many times cheaper than the cost of a can of beans, the time invested in cooking dried beans is a real saver over time. With a little planning, a slow cooker makes incorporating this preparing this completely vegetarian protein food an easy addition to a cooks routine.

Slow Cooker Soup Recipe with Navy Beans

Low Carb Comfort Food that's Quick and Easy

Often referred to as Boston or Yankee beans, navy beans are hearty and nutritious. While navy bean soup is traditionally made with ham, this recipe subtracts the meat, but keeps the flavor. In a slow cooker, the beans cook down with vegetable stock, water, vegetables and herbs to form a rich, nourishing vegetarian meal. The preparation only entails about 10 minutes of chopping and cleaning vegetables.

This recipe is great for busy people who want to eat healthy at home. The beauty of making soup in a slow cooker is that the duration allows the dried beans to absorb spices and blend with the other vegetables over time. Dried beans are also healthier than sodium-heavy canned beans.

Navy Bean Nutrition
As a prime source of fat-free protein and an important member of the legume family, navy beans are called such because they were a staple food for the United States Navy in the early 20th Century. Navy beans are rich enough in minerals and vitamins that they should be a staple in every diet. The health benefits of navy beans include cholesterol-lowering fiber, manganese, magnesium, and iron. Additionally, 1 cup of navy beans supplies 24.7% of the daily value for vitamin B1 or thiamin, a critical source of brain cell and cognitive function.

Also recommended for diabetics, the high fiber content in navy beans keeps sugar from spiking after a meal, while the slow burning complex carbohydrates boost energy.

A half cup serving of navy beans offers:
  • 127 calories
  • 24 grams carbohydrates
  • 10 grams fiber, 40% of the recommended daily value
  • 0 grams sugar

Navy Bean Soup Recipe

  • 2 cups dried navy beans
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • ¾ cup celery, chopped
  • 4 sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 1 bay leaf, whole
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tea spoon paprika
  • 1 tea spoon chili powder
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a slow cooker, combine navy beans, vegetables, and spices.
  2. Pour in the vegetable stock and water. Make sure all of the ingredients are covered in liquid with 2-3 inches of liquid on top. Add more water if needed.
  3. Set the slow cooker on high and cook for about 6 hours.
  4. Stir the soup every few hours. Once the navy beans begin to break down after 4 hours of cooking, taste the broth and season as desired.
  5. Add an additional cup of water to thin the soup if the consistency is too thick.
  6. Navy bean soup is a meal that many people grow up eating. Unlike most comfort foods, this one is good for your heart and your wallet. Enjoy!

Easy Slow Cooker Beans with Vegetables Recipe

A Simple Nutritious Crock Pot Dish for Cold Days

This is a recipe that is short on preparation time, and cooks on its own during the day, leaving the cook free to pursue other activities. At dinner time, there is a nutritious and satisfying meal ready to eat. Some favorite bread on the side makes it complete.

Beans are a healthy choice by themselves, but adding chopped vegetables to the recipe supplies an even higher intake of vitamins and minerals.

Health Benefits of Beans
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods website, beans are a nutritious food choice for several reasons:

- Beans are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber.
- They help to regulate blood sugar, which benefits diabetics.
- Beans are a good source of fat-free protein, making them an excellent choice for vegetarians.
- They are a good source of several vitamins and minerals.
- Beans make a very satisfying meal and provide needed energy for the day’s activities.

Slow Cooker Beans with Vegetables Recipe

  • 2 x 19 fl oz (540 ml) cans of organic bean medley
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato (fresh or canned)
  • 2 cups water (if the vegetables are frozen reduce by 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tbsp barbeque sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

  1. Beans are drained and rinsed.
  2. Any fresh vegetables are prepared.
  3. All ingredients are added to the slow cooker and mixed together.
  4. The dish is left to cook for 8 hours on the LOW setting.

- Some examples of vegetable are onions, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, parsnip and turnip. - - The cook can choose her favorites.
- This recipe does not need salt because the canned products and tomatoes usually have sodium already. People who wish to avoid sodium should be cautious about using this recipe.
- Pepper can be added to suit personal taste. 1/2 tsp of cilantro and a dash of cayenne pepper can be added to create a spicy flavor.
- The cover must not be removed during the 8 hours of cooking time.
- This recipe is for a 3 quart slow cooker, but can be adjusted to a smaller or larger pot.

Gluten-free Alternative for Slow Cooker Beans with Vegetables
This recipe can easily be used as a gluten-free meal of slow cooker beans with vegetables. The cook will need to ensure that all of the pre-packaged ingredients do not contain gluten. Many of the ingredients in this dish are generally gluten-free to start with. Gluten-free bread can be added to make a complete gluten-free meal.

This easy and nutritious meal is great as a warm-up on a cold winter day. Some fresh bread on the side makes it very satisfying.

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