Navy beans, also known as haricot or Boston beans, are a small sized legume. Navy beans have a light flavour, natural savoury aroma and a smooth texture when cooked. They are delectable in savoury dishes and traditionally used to make baked beans.
Navy beans should be pre-soak in plenty of cold water (in a large bowl with room for beans to double in size) for a minimum of 4 hours before cooking. This removes the naturally occurring Lectin and Saponin found in many pulses, which can impede digestion. Drain, rinse well and place beans in a pot of cold water, 1:3. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 60-90 minutes or until tender. Do not add salt while cooking, as this can make outer skins of legumes tough. Drain and use or refrigerate for up to 2 days. Add pureed tomatoes, vegan bacon (optional), sautéed onion, cloves, mustard and paprika for hearty home-made baked beans.
Yummy cooked navy beans can be chilled and added to salads or used hot in hearty soups and hotpots. They are particularly good in curries and spiced dishes. Left-over spicy beans are a scrumptious topper for baked potatoes with vegan grated cheese or vegan sour cream. These beans are a delicious ingredient for vegan burgers, while smashed navy beans are great in dips; mix with spicy salsa and serve with avocado and crackers.