© Denzil Green
Great Northern Beans are white beans are related to kidney beans.
The beans are about 1 cm (1/2 inch) long, white and slightly-oval shaped.
Their flavour is mild, letting the beans take on really well the taste of other items they are cooked with. In France, they are often used in cassoulet, and in America, they are often used in Boston Baked Beans.
The plant itself grows 50 to 60 cm (20 to 24 inches) tall.
Nebraska is the largest producer of great northern beans in the United States, as of 2015. Dry Edible Beans. Urrea, Carlos. University of Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Accessed June 2019 at https://cropwatch.unl.edu/drybeans
Very good for stews, casseroles and patés. These beans also purée and mash well because they cook up so soft.
Cooking times for Great Northern Beans
Be careful not to overcook great northern beans as they will go mushy.
Do not salt the cooking water or it may cause tough skins. Factors such as how old the dried beans are will affect cooking times.
Ideally, soak first for around 8 hours or overnight.
Regular pot: Simmer on stove in water for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (start checking for doneness after about an hour).
Pressure cooker, unsoaked, high pressure: 25 minutes for standard stove-top pressure cooker, 28 to 30 minutes for electric or non-standard pressure cooker. Per 2 cups (500 g) of dried beans at start, use 4 cups (1 litre) of unsalted water plus a tbsp of oil. Bay leaf or onion slice optional.
Pressure cooker, soaked, high pressure: 6 minutes for standard stove-top pressure cooker, 7 to 8 minutes for electric or non-standard pressure cooker. Per 2 cups (500 g) of dried beans at start, use 4 cups (1 litre) of unsalted water plus a tbsp of oil. Bay leaf or onion slice optional.
Pressure cooker guidelines from: Pazzaglia, Laura. Hip Pressure Cooking. New York: St Martin’s Griffin. 2014. Page 270.
1/2 pound (250 g) dried = 1 cups dried = 2 1/2 cups cooked
Great Northern Beans are native to the Americas.
They were introduced by Will & Co. Seed Company. Oscar H. Will, owner of the company, said that it was in a pouch of seeds given to him in 1883 by a man named “Son of Star”, a Hidatsa Indian from the Fort Berthold Reservation.
|↑1||Dry Edible Beans. Urrea, Carlos. University of Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Accessed June 2019 at https://cropwatch.unl.edu/drybeans|