COOKING HEIRLOOM BEANS
Heirloom Beans in an Instant Pot
Cooking Heirloom beans, like pinto beans, in an Instant Pot is almost as easy as opening a can – but so much better. It just takes a little planning ahead. Beans are one of the things we make during the weekend meal prep.
WEEKEND MEAL PREP
PLAN FOR EATING BETTER TASTING, HEALTHIER, EASIER, AND SUSTAINABLE MEALS
We make up a number of things on the weekend so it’s easy to put together healthy meals during the week.
- OATMEAL – 30 minutes using the Instant Pot
- GARLIC OLIVE OIL – 30 minutes using the Instant Pot
- BEANS – 30 minutes using the Instant Pot
- CULTURED ITEM – YOGURT, SOUR CREAM, CHEESE OR CREME FRAICHE – 24 hours using the Instant Pot
- VINEGRETTE – 5 minutes
- BREAD DOUGH – WHOLE WHEAT, FRENCH, OR SWEET – refrigerate for 24 – 48 hours
- QUINOA – 30 minutes on the stove
- GRAIN ITEM – 30 minutes on the stove
This might sound like a lot, but each thing only takes a few minutes and then we have meals planned through Thursday. Since we do it on Sunday, we know how long these items have been in the refrigerator. If we need to stock some other items, like toasting nuts or making mayonnaise, we can do these as well.
Then we visit the farmer’s market. We can shop like a chef, buying whatever looks good and is in season without having a list or a plan. We know it will fit in with the weekly meal plan because we have a basic idea of what we are having.
NOTES ON COOKING HIERLOOM BEANS LIKE PINTO BEANS IN AN INSTANT POT
There are a huge variety of dried beans available – a much bigger selection than you will find in a can. Pictured here are Eye of the Goat heirloom beans, similar to pinto beans. Dried beans are easy keep on hand, since they don’t take up much room and don’t require refrigeration, so they are a good pantry item. They also don’t cost much, making them a good way to stretch the food budget.
The key is to soak the beans overnight in filtered water with salt added. The salt brines the beans so they hold their shape. The water is filtered because minerals in the water could keep the beans from cooking evenly. We use a large canning jar with measurements on the side to make this really simple.
We use an Instant Pot to pressure cook the beans. It’s fast and easy and takes less energy than the stove or a crock pot.
Beans can be made a couple of days ahead, so they are ready when you need them. They can also be cooked in broth and with onions and garlic (just nothing acidic like tomatoes, which will keep the beans from cooking).
We have listed the brands for some of the ingredients because ingredients are everything. We have found that these brands give superior results. And by using brands like Horizon dairy products and Wholesome sugar we cut our carbon footprint in half and are helping to control climate change.
We use produce from the farmer’s market or a local farm stand. Locally grown fruit makes all the difference. Farmers who sell locally choose which variety to grow based on flavor instead of how well it survives transport and storage. It is picked when ripe, often just the day before, or the day of the market, so it tastes incredible. Buying local also creates a smaller carbon footprint in transportation, and it helps our local economy, giving jobs to people in our community.
We use Rancho Gordo beans because we like the taste, quality and variety and because the company is promoting sustainability. Also, making it in an Instant Pot is not just easier, it is also a great way to use less energy. Making heirloom beans allows us to eat less meat and saves money.
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- Check the beans for debris by pouring them onto a white plate.
- Soak the beans overnight – 1 cup of beans to 4 cups of filtered water and 2 teaspoons of salt. (The water is filtered to remove minerals that might keep the beans from cooking evenly. The salt is added to season and to brine the beans so they hold their shape.)
- Drain and rinse well, throwing away the water. (Soaking and rinsing is done to remove some of the gas causing quality of beans. There is conflicting evidence for this, but we have found it to be true.)
- Put the beans in the Instant Pot and add 4 cups filtered water and 2 teaspoons of salt. Use the pressure cooking setting on high to cook for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes before opening.