Saturday, March 13, 2010

sun oven pinto beans

nothing could be easier than cooking beans in the sun oven. today we cooked pintos, which are a larger bean and generally require more cooking time than smaller beans such as plain old black or white. we started with our dry beans at 1pm and had a pot of beautifully cooked frijoles at 4:45pm. it was a beautiful day, and the oven stayed at a fairly constant temp of 350. we repositioned the oven slightly twice in that time - we find we usually need to adjust it once every hour or hour and a half.

if you're using a standard round black enamel pot with lid, pour 2 cups dry beans into the pot (if you've soaked them overnight you may need to adjust your cooking time - today we started with dry beans) and cover with as much water as your pot can hold.

when your oven reaches 300 - 350F, stick the beans in. after an hour, pour off the water (conserve for use on plants if you like - but this initial water will soak out the hard-to-digest sugar molecules - rinsing your beans this way will make them much easier on the stomach!).

add fresh water to cover the beans by an inch or two. bay leaves or dried rosemary are okay to add at this point, but no salt or anything acidic, such as tomatoes, 'til later. these make the beans tough if added before they're fully cooked.

after two more hours, add spices to taste (we use a few tablespoons cumin, salt and pepper, a chopped onion, several cloves of chopped garlic, juice of one lime, and one dried cayenne pepper).

in 30 - 45 min more, your beans will be cooked to perfection!

we ate ours in a bowl topped with avocado, shredded red cabbage, and tomato salsa with warm corn tortillas on the side.

1 comment:

Wretha said...

Love this idea, we have got to make a solar oven soon...

I have been using a pressure cooker to cook beans, it's great, and only takes 8-10 minutes (from the time it comes up to heat), it's much quicker that way.