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I love beans. My favorites are pinto beans. We ate them fairly regularly when I was growing up, usually with homemade flour tortillas. They've been a staple in my diet as an adult up until I started GAPS. As you know, pinto beans and flour tortillas are not allowed on GAPS, so these are two foods I miss and would like to find substitutes. The flour tortillas sub is going to be a challenge, although this Cauliflower Wrap recipe may hit the spot. I'm planning to try these sooner than later and I'll report back with my findings.
Substituting the pinto beans has turned out to be super simple… we are allowed to have white navy beans on GAPS and I've found a way of making them so that they taste creamy and delicious, and remind me of pinto beans.
This recipe is so simple and easy. About once a month I take a few minutes to make these. And it does literally take only a few minutes since the crock pot does most of the work.
Two important things to be aware of when cooking beans:
- Do not add salt or any kind of tomato product when cooking. The beans will stay tough and may never get tender unless you cook them for days.
- Additionally, if your beans are old (as opposed to fresh), they may not be done as soon as mine. Just keep letting them cook, they should get tender eventually. I've had beans take as long as 48 hours. You may need to keep adding some water if you are cooking them for that length of time.
Measure out 4 cups of navy beans. Pick through the beans and remove any debris, or beans that look bad. Rinse and place in a large bowl or pot. Cover the beans with water. The level of water should be 3-4″ above the beans. They will soak up a lot of water, so watch to make sure that they stay underwater the entire time they are soaking.
Allow to soak 12-24 hours. Typically I start my beans at night and place them in the crock pot the next morning. If you are going to soak for 24 hours, change the water at the 12 hour mark. You may notice the water is beginning to have white foam and bubbles on the surface, this is normal. Also, you may notice that the beans have sprouted and this is normal as well. If you leave the beans soaking in the same water for 24 hours you may notice that they have a fermented or sour smell. It's okay to use them, just be sure to rinse them.
When you are ready to put the beans into the crock pot, pour them into a strainer to drain off the water. Rinse.
Place the beans into the crock pot and cover with just enough water to cover the beans, not more than 1/4″ higher than the top layer of beans.
Turn the crock pot on high and allow to cook for six hours, or if you have more time, cook on low for ten hours.
You'll notice that there are only two ingredients: beans and water. When the beans are ready to serve, I add butter, and salt to taste. Sometimes I serve the beans unseasoned and each person adds as much salt and butter as they prefer.
You could also add one or some of these other ingredients to the beans when you place them in the crock pot:
- 1 onion, chopped
- ham bone with chunks of meat on it
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- garlic, crushed
- strips of bacon
- onion powder
- garlic powder
Sometimes I add some of the optional ingredients, but as I mentioned, most of the time it's just beans and water. This makes these beans very economical when you need to stretch a meal.
Do you end up with discomfort in your stomach when you eat beans? Soaking them for 12-24 hours should help to cut down on the production of gas. I find that some people with GAPS have trouble with beans, and I think it's due to the high fiber in the bean skins. I do find that I have a slight amount of gas with beans but it is not enough to keep me from eating them occasionally. They are just so delicious!