Navy Beans are delicious when cooked properly. They're considered to be one of the most complete and healthiest foods. In the 20th Century, they were the main staple food of the U.S. army. Navy beans are filling, full of nutrients and high in fiber. They can be used in a variety of recipes from soups, stews, pies, breads, side dishes and used even in smoothies.
When choosing beans, start with good quality beans. Many bags on the supermarket shelves contain beans that are many years old, held in silos until they come to market. Check the date on the package. The fresher the beans, the less time it they take to cook and are much more tender.
1. To begin, rinse and pick over the beans removing any dirt or pebbles.
2. Cover the beans with fresh water, add a teaspoon of salt.
3. Soak overnight from 12-24 hours.
Stove top method
After the beans have soaked overnight, rinse the beans, place in a large stock pot and cover with fresh water. For every 1 pound of beans, cover with 5 cups of water.
Bring pot to boil. Once you've brought the pot to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook gently until the beans are as tender as you like them. Depending on the freshness of the beans, this can take anywhere from 30 minutes two hours. Cook until tender. The beans can be drained for the recipe of your choice or saved in their liquid for soup and stews.
Crock pot method
Follow the above steps from 1-3. Next, place in crock pot and cover with water. Cook on the setting of high until the beans are tender. This can take anywhere from 4-6 hours.
Pressure cooker method (non electric)
To cook a whole pound dried beans you'll need at least an 6- to 8-quart stove top pressure cooker. This is because pressure cookers have limits on how much or how little they can be filled in order to cook the food properly.
Follow the above steps 1-3 for preparing beans. Next, drain the beans, add to pressure cooker, add 8 cups of water. Secure the lid according to instruction manual and turn the flame up to high. Keep an eye on the pot and when it reaches high pressure, reduce the flame to medium/medium low and start timing the beans.
Natural Release: When the time is up, turn off the heat. Allow the pot to cool down and release pressure naturally. Follow your instruction manual to determine how you will know when the pot is ready to be opened
Remove the Lid: Unlock and remove the lid, tilting the lid away from you to keep any remaining steam that could be released away from you. and allowing any condensation to drip back into the pot.
Use or Store: Your beans are now ready to use or to store.
Store them, covered with their cooking liquid, in the refrigerator up to 3 days, in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to a year.