The Running Mike

Paleo / Primal Coach, Runner, and Triathlete

Cooking with Mike: Recipe for Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

a slow cooker Oval Crock Pot
Image via Wikipedia

I haven’t spent a lot of time talking about running nutrition, but wanted to share a great food recipe that is one of my favorites.  In fact, as a guy that doesn’t like to cook – these meet my criteria:

  • Beans are nutritious!
  • Beans are EASY to cook!
  • Beans are Inexpensive!

ALSO, there are many other benefits of beans!  They help prevent heart disease and cancer, are shown to help regulate blood sugar, and help with cholesterol.  Plus, beans are full of antioxidants which helps your muscles and recovery.  Beans of all sorts are great for runners – they have protein, a good amount of fiber, and complex carbohydrates.

I do keep a stash of canned beans in my pantry, mainly because they will do in a pinch – but canned beans tend to be preserved with lots of salt.  I’ve heard that rinsing beans out of a can decrease the sodium up to 40% per serving.

However, to avoid the salt issue altogether – it’s actually easy to make a batch of beans every week that taste better and you have complete control over what to put in them!  It takes some time, but is not much effort to make AWESOME beans every time. Here is how I make pinto beans (this will work great if you substitute black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, or any other kind of beans you might like).

Note: the recipe below is for I usually do 2 or 3 cups of beans at a time so It will last me a few meals.  A serving size is 1/2 cup and contains 120 calories (8 grams fiber, 8 grams protein, and just 0.5 grams of fat).

  1. Soak the beans for at least 6 hours (or overnight): In a big bowl, mix 3 cups of water and 1 cup of dried beans.  (Just use the 3 to 1 ratio if you’re making a bigger batch).   The beans will stay very firm, but will actually double in size.
  2. Rinse them well.  After they’ve soaked, you’ll want to rinse them really well in a colander and try to get rid of any dirt, grime, or loose skins that you see.
  3. Put the beans in a crock pot with 3 cups of water for every cup of beans you have.  I add a couple cloves of garlic and just a dash of salt (trust me, much less than in the canned version) and then put the crock pot on low for 10 to 12 hours.  Optional: You can add all sorts of other fun stuff – onions, tomatoes, bouillion cubes…feel free to experiment with what you like!

I like to eat beans with my eggs in the morning, so I’ll usually soak the beans in the morning and then rinse and put in the crock pot overnight.  When I wake up the next day – they smell great and are nice and warm :)  I’ll put the remainder into a Tupperware container and have them with meals over the next 3 days :)

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3 thoughts on “Cooking with Mike: Recipe for Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

  1. Mike, great blog! I love beans too; they are so versatile and the price is right!

    We keep tons of beans in our house and I love finding new recipes or new versions of old ones.

    This is a gem; props!

    Em

  2. Great recipe, thanks Mike! I am a vegetarian (well I eat seafood so whatever that makes me) and I am always trying to find new recipes. I like beans for protein and cheapness but don’t know how to prepare them. Thanks for this!

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