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Cooking beans in an Instant Pot

I got myself a cool new kitchen gadget: an Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 pressure cooker. It's a pretty sweet appliance, letting me have a rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, and pressure cooker all in one device. So far I've made brown rice in it about half a dozen times, and it's been perfect and fast every time. I tend to scorch rice using a regular pot so I'm happy to have a good solution to just this.

So here's a recipe I threw together today: bean soup. I was just goofing around and getting rid of some stuff from the cabinets. It's my first non-rice experiment, it's tasty, and it didn't take long to actually cook. Actual cooking time was less than 40 minutes, but there was some waiting involved too, so... maybe an hour and a half of low effort from start to finish. Considering I started with dry beans, that's really good, as they usually require a soak lasting a few hours before you can even start cooking them proper.

Ingredients

  • One pound bagged bean soup mix.
  • One can of cream of "whatever" soup.
  • One can of some type of broth.
  • Water, and plenty of it.

A few quick notes about the vagueness here. There are several varieties of bean soup mixes out there, and different numbers of beans available in these. Mine in this case was a 16-bean Cajun mix from Kroger. Pick what you like. Like I said, I kind of threw this together and guessed, and it turned out fine, so I suspect it's a pretty forgiving recipe. The soups aren't really set in stone either. If you want beef broth, use beef broth. If you want cream of celery, use cream of celery. Do what you like. I personally used low sodium varieties of cream of mushroom and chicken broth. You can probably even do it with plain water.

Directions

  1. Rinse the beans in a collander. Remove any foreign stuff like rocks, stems, funky looking beans, and so on. I've never seen anything weird like that, but I've heard it can happen.
  2. Put beans in the pressure cooker pot. Add water until beans are covered and under 1½ to 2 inches of water.
  3. Seal the pressure cooker (really important!), and set manual program to four minutes.
  4. When the program completes, leave pressure cooker sealed for five minutes, then release the pressure.
  5. Rinse beans in collander again (they'll be bigger and softer at this point), then return to pot.
  6. Add the two cans of soup, and two cans of water.
  7. Seal the pressure cooker and cook on chili / bean program (should take about 30 minutes).
  8. When program completes, unplug pressure cooker and let pressure release naturally. This will take another 20 or 30 minutes.
  9. Add spice packet from bean soup mix (or your own spices, if desired) and stir well.

Nutrition data

I'm still tracking my nutritional intake, so here it is. I'm going to say this recipe is 16 servings total — the information below is per serving (which worked out, interestingly, to exactly 100 grams each). This is based solely on the ingredients I used in this particular instance. Your mileage will vary depending on your selections. Generally speaking, though, beans are high in protein, carbs, and fiber, and low in fat and calories. Probably a good start for those perennial New Years diet resolutions.

  • Calories - 82
  • Protein - 8.4 grams
  • Carbs - 22.7 grams
  • Fat - 0.3 grams
  • Sodium - 315.3 mg (mostly from the spice packet)
  • Fiber - 12.2 grams

And I swear I'll get more brave with this thing eventually and make some homemade yogurt. Until then, it will be more pedestrian fare like beans, chicken, chili, maybe a roast or two. One step at a time, I guess.

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