So I have read some of the questions and answers regarding soaking and cooking pinto beans and I am still trying to figure out the best process for my needs. I cook a bunch of pinto beans at one time and then freeze them. Because I cook a lot of beans at a time, I like using the pressure cooker. My main concern is loss of nutrients. I have been soaking the beans for 24 hours and then cooking them in a pressure cooker. Does this method compare well to others in retention of nutrients?
There doesn't seem to be much of a difference in nutrition between pressure cooking and boiling beans. Cooking at pressure cooker temperatures at 10, 20, or 40 minutes instead of boiling in a pot changed the nutrition/antinutrient content and digestibility by less than 5%.
Soaking prior to cooking was generally found to be advantageous. However, the results were not unanimous, and it didn't change very much in terms of nutrition. Soaking and discarding the water was found to:
- reduce the carbohydrate fraction and maintain/increase fiber content.
- reduce mineral content, but increase bioavailability.
- reduce the oligosaccarides that cause flatulence.
First I have to wonder just what nutrition you are expecting to get from pinto beans? There isn't that much there to begin with, but most of what is there is probably washed away with the water assuming you pour that off to keep the beans.
But still, the pressure cooker is my method of choice for making pintos. FWIW I always use beef or chicken broth in the pressure cooker when preparing my beans, it really helps to infuse the meaty flavor into the beans. When preparing beans for my chili recipe I will also slice up a jalapeno or two. You don't need to soak the beans prior to putting them into the pressure cooker, but a good rinse and sort is in order.