How to Pressure Cook Black Beans:
1. Put your dried beans in a bowl and cover them with water. Let the beans soak overnight, or at least 4 hours. (this will drastically reduce cooking time)
2. Once the beans are done soaking drain and rinse them off
3. Put the beans in your pressure cooker
4. Generously cover the beans with water, I usually don’t measure, but as a rule of thumb 4 cups of water per 1 cup of dried beans (it is recommended that you don’t fill your pressure cooker past the fill line, or half full)
5. Add a little bit of oil to the beans, about a tablespoon to prevent the foam from clogging the vent
6. If cooking black beans add a pinch of baking soda to the beans, this helps them retain their color (they turn a purple color without baking soda)
7. Optionally I add a piece of kombu to the beans. Kombu packs your beans full of nutrients and makes them easier to digest-no bloating
8. Pressure cook for 10 minutes, if you have soaked the beans. If you haven’t soaked the beans pressure cook for 20-30 minutes.
9. Discard kombu (if using), just like you would a bay leaf and season the beans to taste
Tip:I like to make a big batch of the beans and freeze them in ziploc bags. Freeze the beans in 3 C portions, which is roughly the same amount that is in a canned black beans. It saves the guess-work of how much to unthaw. If the recipe calls for a can of beans pull out one freezer bag to use.
Electric Pressure Cookers:
I love my pressure cooker! Next to my blender, it is one of my favorite thing in the kitchen. It saves me time, money and my bacon when I don’t have a plan for dinner. I use it to make everything from; black beans, garbanzo beans, multi grain cereal, to soups and grains. My pressure cooker is nothing fancy. In fact I bought my pressure cooker on Ebay refurbished for 40ish dollars. It is a wolf gang puck 7 qt. model. The thing I love about it is that it is electric and will shut off when it is done. Another plus is that you can’t open it while it is under pressure, making it VERY safe.
Update: I am going to upgrade my pressure cooker mine has a crack in it from being dropped. I think I will try the Tatung model with a stainless steel pot that someone recommended.
Pressure Cooked Black Beans
slightly adapted from Tyler Florence
2 C black beans
6 C water
1 T salt
1 T olive oil
1 small onion
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves
*Small strip of kombu
1/4 tsp baking soda
1. Saute onion in olive oil until translucent
2. Add garlic and bay leaf saute for another minute
3. Add black beans, water, kombu, and baking soda
4. Pressure cook for 25 minutes, let sit five minutes. Let the steam out. Add the salt,and discard bay leaf and kombu. If the beans are still a little crunchy continue to let them cook until soft.
* Kombu is sea weed that comes dried in sheets. You can get kombu at a health food store or on amazon. Kombu acts like a secret bouillon in the beans, it enhances the flavor as well as the nutrients of the black beans. Kombu is high in bio available iron, iodine (Iodine helps nourish the thyroid, many woman have under active thyroid and are not diagnosed), and vitamins. The best part for me is you can’t taste it, so it is a great way to get sea vegetables in your diet without tasting them.