Anasazi beans are named for the Native Americans who inhabited the four corners area of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. Anasazi, a Navajo word that means "the ancient ones", were most likely the original cultivators as crocks of the dried beans had been found in the cliff homes of these Indians in the early 1900's. The return of the popularity of the bean in the last couple of decades casts a bit of a mysterious shadow, though. Supposedly out of cultivation for 1500 years, one story attributes new crops to an archeaologist in the 1980's who found a store of the them and successfully regrew them. However, most botanists would say that germination on beans is only about 50 years so it's more probable that the beans had been grown here and there in the southwest until picked up by enterprising boutique bean growers.
Because of it's similarity in taste to the pinto bean one of the more quietly (pun) interesting fact about the anasazi bean is that the specific type of carbohydrate that induces flatulence during digestion in other beans is only present in a quantity of less than 25% comparably.
Packaged through Adobe Milling Company in Colorado, my beans came from a local mill in northwest Arkansas, War Eagle Mill, a mill I routinely visit and mail order flours and grains from.
Slow Cooker Anasazi Beans
recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
1 lb dried anasazi beans (Can get them "locally" or mail order from War Eagle Mill just outside Eureka Springs, Arkansas)
1 quart canned Vegetable broth
1 quart water
1 medium onion, diced
1 banana pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cardomom
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Optional: 2 cups diced ham chunks
Directions: Place everything into slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours (a couple of hours less than what I would normally cook pinto beans for, a feature of this particular bean) or according to manufacturer's directions until beans are soft but not mushy.
Serve over fresh cornbread.
Nutrition: per 1 cup (without ham or cornbread): Calories: 234 Protein: 14 Carbs: 40 Fat: 1 Fiber: 7
Weight Watchers Points: 4