Navy beans are so named because they were a staple food of the Navy in the early 20th century. A Navy bean is a small, white, pea-like bean that resembles a smaller version of the Great Northern bean. These beans are incredibly versatile and packed with vitamins and minerals. They are low in fat and calories and high in protein and B vitamins, which is similar to meat. Cooking the beans in a slow cooker is a fuss-free way to a healthy, protein rich dinner.
Pour the beans in a colander and rinse them well under running water. Remove any rocks or debris that may be in the beans.
Pour the beans into the slow cooker.
Fill the slow cooker with water to just cover the top of the beans. You can add more as the beans cook.
Chop the turkey bacon into large chunks and add it to the pot with the beans. Sprinkle the salt over the top of the beans and turn the heat on the slow cooker to high.
Cook the navy beans on high for 3 hours. Check the beans to see if water is still covering them. If it isn’t, add more water.
Turn the heat down to medium and cook the beans another 6 hours. Check the beans every 2 hours or so to see if you need to add water.
Test the navy beans for tenderness. When the beans no longer have a bite to them, they are done.
If the dish is for a vegetarian, omit the turkey bacon.
For a bolder flavor, add a few drops of liquid smoke during cooking. Garlic and onions also pair well with the flavor of navy beans.
Never leave the slow cooker unattended while it is set to high. Most models of slow cookers warn against cooking for longer than 3 hours on high. Check with your specific model's guide.