My Mom’s Famous “Sweet Simple Beans” — Easy & Oil-free

September 25, 2016


By: Jasmine Briones 

My Mom's Famous "Sweet Simple Beans" -- Easy & Oil-free sweetsimplevegan.comOne of my mother’s best recipes EVER for you all to try out 🙂 Not only are these jam packed with flavor, they are effortless, and can even be made while you sleep.

The way my mom measures rice is, well, not the usual method. From my YouTube video I have realized it is of my mom’s Chinese origin, and I will try to explain it as best I can.

My Mom's Famous "Sweet Simple Beans" -- Easy & Oil-free I googled a description of her method and realized it was actually an established way of cooking grains/beans: the first knuckle method. Basically, you pour the beans (or rice) into the pressure cookies pot, level them out, then place your index finger in so that the tip is just barely touching the surface. Add enough water that it comes up to the first knuckle line and voila, that’s it! This method seems to work every single time for us, I promise we ain’t crazy! ?
My Mom's Famous "Sweet Simple Beans" -- Easy & Oil-free

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My Mom’s Famous “Sweet Simple Beans” — Easy & Oil-free

  • Author: Jasmine Briones / Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 9 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10


My Mom’s Famous “Sweet Simple Beans” — Easy & Oil-free


  • 1 lb beans of choice
  • Vegetable broth (we used bouillon)
  • 1 white onion, peeled
  • Pressure cooker, slow cooker or pot


  1. Soak the beans in 3x the amount of water for a day (8 hours minimum) in the refrigerator.
  2. Drain and place into your pressure cooker*. Cover the beans with vegetable broth using “the first knuckle method: place your index finger into the beans so that the tip is just barely touching the surface. Add enough broth so that it comes up to the first knuckle line.
  3. Stick the onion into the broth in the middle of the beans. It is ok it it floats a bit!
  4. If using a pressure cooker, cook at high pressure for 55 minutes. For white beans we cook for 35.
  5. Remove the cooked onion (if desired). Cool and dig in!


  • We place ours in the pressure cooker at high pressure for 45 minutes. If you do not have one, you may do a slow cooker overnight or a stove top pot for a few hours until the beans are cooked.
  • These beans will thicken as they sit and cool.
  • Prep Time: 8 hours 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 55 mins

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Recipe rating

  1. Cassie says:

    I can’t even believe that the sweet simple beans recipe is THIS simple. I have to try this recipe out and let you know how it goes!

  2. Kaitlyn Petrow says:

    Would this work with a crockpot? So excited to try it 🙂

  3. […] Show: ➜The Gentle Barn ➜Jasmine’s Full Story ➜How Not to Die ➜ ➜Sweet Simple Beans Recipe ➜Date Sweetened Banana […]

  4. Karissa says:

    Do you think you could do this in a rice cooker?

  5. Lisa says:

    How long would you let them cook in an old fashioned pressure cooker, once the pressure is up to where it should be and the rocker starts going?

  6. Teresa says:


    I did make one small addition — I added 1/2 tsp of Liquid Smoke after they were cooked, to give them a smokey kick. Simply fantastic and so easy. As far as cooking time — since these were pinto beans and I just felt 55 minutes would make them too mushy. So I cooked them for 30 minutes but let the pressure release naturally because I wasn’t at home. The house smelled wonderful when I got back!

  7. arj says:

    For rice: Is the knuckle measure method for white or brown rice? Thank you!

  8. Dana says:

    Sorry if I missed it, at what point do we use the onion? Just put it in with the beans? Excited to try this!!

  9. Kristen says:

    What do you use these beans in? Just in a buddah bowl type meal? Just curious I’m going to make these this weekend

  10. Francine Gravel says:

    Last time I made these kind of beans in my InstantPot, 22 minutes of cooking was recommended in the InstantPot cookbook… and it turned into mush. 55 minutes seems way over cooked for socked beans in a pressure coocker or an InstantPot.

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