If there is one side I can get everyone to happily eat in my family, it's beans. This pinto bean recipe is the perfect side dish. It's an extremely affordable and full of healthy benefits!
Cooking pinto beans can be easily made with just pinto beans, salt and water, or it can be made even better with some simple additions!
But why should I make this recipe, canned beans are affordable, right? Sure, but not in comparison to dry beans! They also take up less room in storage, and keep for a LONG time.
How to Cook Pinto Beans
It's also my opinion that canned beans never taste as good as those made homemade. With can goods in high demand right now, and plenty of people stocking up on essentials at the grocery store, this is one way to ensure healthy food remains in your pantry. This southern pinto beans' recipe is delicious!
Sort and check your beans. Remove any split beans, as well as any rocks you find.
Soak your beans. You have two different options here:
Quick Soak: Rinse and sort beans in large pot. To 1 lb. of beans (about 2 cups) add 6-8 cups hot water. Bring to boil for 2 min. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain soak water and rinse beans.
Overnight Soak: Rinse and sort beans in large pot. To 1 lb. of beans (about 2 cups) add 6-8 cups hot water. Let stand overnight, or at least 6-8 hours. Drain soak water and rinse beans.
We prefer the overnight soak method to help break down the phytic acid in the beans as much as possible. But if you are in a hurry, then the quick soak method works well.
You'll also find a lot of "optional" ingredients on the list. If you want just a hearty, Southern style, sitting-around-the-campfire type pinto beans' recipe, then all you need are pinto beans, water, and salt.
WHAT IS PHYTIC ACID?
From a 2013 article published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology:
"Phytic acid is known as a food inhibitor which chelates micronutrient and prevents it to be bioavailabe for monogastric animals, including humans, because they lack enzyme phytase in their digestive tract. Several methods have been developed to reduce the phytic acid content in food and improve the nutritional value of cereal which becomes poor due to such antinutrient. These include genetic improvement as well as several pre-treatment methods such as fermentation, soaking, germination and enzymatic treatment of grains with phytase enzyme."
What does that mean? Well, the phytic acid content in some foods (mostly grains, nuts, seeds, and beans) can cause a lack of nutrient absorption and the inability for your body to break down your food properly.
Fortunately, soaking and/or fermenting the foods in question can greatly reduce the amount of phytic acid in a food, which makes it easier to digest!
So if you are on a gut healing diet, or are trying to ease the burden on your digestive system, then paying attention to phytic acid may be a good idea for you!
Put soaked and rinsed beans in 3-4 quart pot with 10 cups hot water. Add salt and any optional items from the recipe, as desired.
Simmer gently with lid tilted until tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours OR until beans have reached the desired texture and water level. Do not add cold water to hot beans as it will cause splitting.
Serve alone or with a side of cornbread. We usually make cornbread with ours! :-)
Pinto Beans' Nutrition
Pinto beans are quite nutritious for such an unassuming dish.
Packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, pinto beans make a great addition to most diets.
In fact, just one cup of cooked pinto beans (cooked in salted water) provides:
Carbs: 45 grams (30 net carbs)
Fiber: 15 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 407 mg
Thiamine: 28% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
Iron: 20% of the RDI
Magnesium: 20% of the RDI
Potassium: 20% of RDI
Copper: 40% of the RDI
While they are packed with fiber and protein, they are also packed with carbs, so be aware. Carbs are fine for most people, but if you are on a low-carb or keto diet, then pinto beans would not be good for helping you maintain your low-carb regimen.
However, for the rest of us, pinto beans are a super affordable and easy to prepare dish!
MORE RECIPES TO TRY: Try great recipes that use pantry staples and for another bean-friendly dish, try Chicken Bacon Ranch Tacos.
Southern Pinto Beans Recipe
- 1 lb dried pinto beans
- 1 tbsp salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 tsp garlic (optional)
- 1 tsp black pepper (optional)
- 1/2 lb ham hock, or ham bone (optional)
- Sort your beans and get rid of any split beans and rocks.
- Soak your beans overnight or using the quick soak method.Quick Soak: Rinse and sort beans in large pot. To 1 lb. of beans (about 2 cups) add 6-8 cups hot water. Bring to boil for 2 min. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain soak water and rinse beans.Overnight Soak: Rinse and sort beans in large pot. To 1 lb. of beans (about 2 cups) add 6-8 cups hot water. Let stand over- night, or at least 6-8 hours. Drain soak water and rinse beans.
- Put the soaked and rinsed beans in 3-4 quart pot with 10 cups hot water. Add the salt and any optional items from the recipe, as desired.
- Simmer gently with lid tilted until tender, about 1 to 1/2-2 hours OR until beans have reached the desired texture and water level. Do not add cold water to hot beans as it will cause splitting.
- Serve alone or with a side of cornbread.
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