Pinto beans were discovered in Mexican caves dating back to 4000 BC, proving that this flavorful, nutritious bean was one of man's earliest foods. Pinto beans are a source of B vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, iron and potassium. According to a study conducted at Arizona State University, pinto beans may help lower cholesterol levels. You can incorporate versatile pinto beans into soups, salads, appetizers, casseroles, pasta, burritos, meat dishes or puree them into spreads and dips. However, before cooking pinto beans, they need to be properly sorted.
Measure the exact amount of pinto beans you'll be cooking with a measuring cup. Most recipes call for one to three cups of pinto beans.
Wash the pinto beans in a strainer under the sink.
Spread the pinto beans onto a cookie sheet.
Carefully sort through the pinto beans to remove any small stones, dirt, misshapen or shriveled beans and other debris. Start at one side of the cookie sheet and move the usable beans to the other side as you pick through them. Discard the debris. The beans are now ready for soaking and cooking.