Navy beans are a common, versatile white bean that can be used in a number of different recipes. They are closely related to cannelloni beans and are also known as Boston beans, white pea beans, Yankee beans, and haricot beans. They get their name from their role as a diet staple of the United States Navy.
Navy beans are simple to cook and use. They are available both dry in bags or bulk bins or canned in the canned vegetable section of most grocery stores. Navy beans are very healthy and high in fiber making them a good pantry staple for any kitchen.
Canned Navy Beans
Canned navy beans are essentially ready to eat. Drain off the water and pour beans into a bowl. There is no need to rinse. The beans can be heated in a pot on the stove top or in the microwave. Be sure to stir occasionally during the heating so that the beans heat up evenly. Canned navy beans can also be used cold in salads. Canned beans are inexpensive and great to have on hand when there isn’t time to soak and cook dry beans.
Dry Navy Beans
Dry navy beans require a little more work to cook. First, sort out any abnormalities including shriveled beans. Then rinse beans in cold water and place in a large pot. Cover with three cups of cold water for each one cup of navy beans. Let soak six to eight hours or overnight. After soaking, rinse beans again and return them to the pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Do not salt the water before cooking the beans as salt with lengthen the cooking time. Spices including sea salt can be added once the beans are cooked.
Cover the pot and reduce heat, letting the beans simmer for approximately one hour. Be sure to monitor the water level to make sure the beans are covered for the entire cooking time. Beans are done when they are tender and are now ready to drain and use in a variety of different recipes.
How to Use Navy Beans
Navy beans are the most common bean that is used to make baked beans. They are also good in a vegetarian white chili or can be paired with black beans and kidney beans in a three bean salad. Navy beans are great in soups including standard navy bean soup, bean and ham chowders, and lentil soups. Navy beans can be topped with olive oil and garlic and served on toasted french bread as a healthy bruschetta.
Navy Bean Chowder