Beans, beans, the magical fruit! There are so many things to love about the humble bean. Not only are they a great protein source and super inexpensive, beans have many nutritious benefits! Here are a few reasons to love beans:
- Beans are high in fiber – 12 grams in a one cup serving! Fiber helps keep you feeling full longer, which aids in weight loss. Most people don’t get the required daily amount of fiber (25 grams), which can cause constipation and other digestive issues.
- A low glycemic index makes beans are an excellent food for diabetics.
- The phytochemicals found in all plants (including beans) help fight cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases by eliminating free radicals in the body.
- Beans can help lower your cholesterol.
- Did I mention beans are cheap? You can feed your family a nutrient-rich dinner for less than you’d spend at the drive-thru. I buy mine in the bulk section at Sprouts for 99 cents per pound.
- Beans are so easy to make, especially when you throw them in the crockpot and let them cook all day.
The pinto bean recipe I’m sharing with you today is so easy! The ingredients are all pantry staples, so you can always whip up a batch of beans when there’s nothing else to cook for dinner. I usually cut and refrigerate the onion the night before, as well as measure the spices. Then in the morning I can throw everything in the crock pot in less than five minutes. Waa-lah!
My family eats them right out of a bowl topped with a little cheese and hot sauce, or sometimes we make tostadas or bean burritos.
Make your family’s bean fantasies come true and cook up some Slow Cooker Pinto Beans today!
- 1 1/2 to 2 lb. pinto beans
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (use vegetable broth to make the dish vegetarian)
- 3 cups water (may need to add more during the cooking process)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. cumin
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
- 4 Tbsp. butter (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- Rinse and sort beans and remove any pebbles.
- Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.
- Cook on high for at least 3 hours, then cook on low for 3-5 hours.
- After 3 hours, check to make sure liquid covers the beans. If not, add one or two cups of water.
- To see if beans are done, take a few out of the pot and test them. They're done cooking when they are creamy and can be bitten into easily.
- Remove some of the liquid if you desire.
- Transfer a couple of cups of beans to a blender and blend, then pour back into the crockpot. If you like a creamier "refried bean" consistency, blend more of the beans. For a soup consistency, blend less beans.
It is not necessary to soak beans before cooking, but you can if you like. Soaking beans will shorten the cooking time by a few hours.
To soak: rinse and sort beans. Place beans in a bowl and add three cups of water for each cup of beans. Let soak for 8-16 hours. Discard water and use fresh water when cooking.
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