I will typically make a slow cooker chili on game day because one, I’m lazy on Sundays and two, I’m a smart cookie and I’d rather the slow cooker do the work all day than me. And three, it tastes so much better when it's slow-cooked! Not that you need a fourth reason, but it’s perfect for big gatherings as it lets people eat when they want to so the pressure on the host or hostess is lessened. Score!
A big reason that people cannot tolerate beans well without a lot of gas and bloating is that the beans are not prepared properly and/or they are contaminated with a lot of pesticides and other harmful chemicals which is why you should always buy or grow organic beans.
If you soak dried beans before using them, it softens their skin, making them less likely to burst while cooking. It also causes most of the simple sugars (that are gas-producing inside of your gut) to leach into the water, thus making them healthier for you to consume. Soaking will eliminate a lot of the phytic acid (phytates) that can disrupt your gut function and rob your body of vital nutrients. Phytic acid is the defense weapon of the bean much like the porcupine's defense is its needles. Every living thing wants to survive and the poor ole bean, well they even have a defense too.
One cup of most dried beans is equal to 1 can of beans. Canned beans are to be avoided as much as possible due to the contamination of the beans from the BPA lining inside of the can. It's also WAY cheaper to buy dried beans and they will often have a longer shelf life. Eden Organics is a good brand of canned beans with a BPA-free lining.
For this recipe, soak 1 cup of dry kidney beans in 3 cups of water with 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar. Let it sit overnight, then, drain and rinse the beans 6 times to get rid of as much of the phytic acid as possible. Next, add your beans to the slow cooker and proceed as instructed. For the Great Northern beans, you only need to soak them for 4 hours but it's okay to soak them overnight just like the kidney beans.
I adapted this recipe from my friend Leigh Anne and put my healthy spin on it but what I love the most is the unique ingredient she introduced to me, chili pepper. If you want to substitute for the chili pepper, use a diced and seeded jalapeno instead.
Slow Cooker Spicy White Chicken Chili
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 6 hrs. Total Time: 15 min + 6 hrs. Yield: 8 cups
• 2 cups of dried, organic Great Northern beans soaked in 3 cups of water overnight or
at least 4 hours - drained and rinsed or 2-15-ounce cans of organic great Northern
beans – drained and rinsed
• 1 cup of dried, organic light redskin kidney beans soaked in 3 cups of water overnight -
drained and rinsed or 1-15 ounce can of organic light redskin kidney beans – drained
• 1-12-15 ounce jar of medium-heat salsa
• 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken or at least 4 boneless chicken breasts or 8 chicken
• 2 teaspoons of cumin
• 8 ounces of chicken bone broth
• ½ teaspoon of sea salt
• 1 teaspoon of black pepper
• ½-1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Pepper
(start with ½ tsp and after everything is heated up and warm, taste the chili and see if
you want to add more…this is where the spicy comes from, so you can make it as spicy
as you want…start slow and add as you go)
• 2 diced avocados
• 1 cup cashew cream
• lime wedges (optional)
• cilantro, chopped (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker in the order listed except the avocados and cashew cream.
2. Cook on low heat for 6 - 8 hours. Taste the level of spicy and salty and add more chili pepper and/or sea salt if needed to your desire.
3. To make the cashew cream: combine ½ cup soaked raw cashews (soak at least 20 minutes first in water – up to an hour) with ½ cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk, or water, in a blender and blend until smooth to make cashew cream. Chill in the fridge until the chili is ready to serve.
3. Serve the chili with corn or grain-free tortilla chips, I like Jackson's Honest brand corn chips or Siete brand grain-free chips as they don't have seed oils in them that drive inflammation and create stress in your system.
4. Top with avocados, cashew cream, a squeeze of lime juice, and cilantro.