Navy beans, actually white in color, get their name from their role as a menu staple of the U.S. Navy since the 1800s. Sometimes called Yankee beans, they are a good source of fiber. Before cooking, sort through the beans to remove any debris and rinse well.
If you don't have a slow cooker, soak the beans overnight in 6 to 8 cups of water and drain them. The proceed with the recipe as directed, simmering the ingredients in a stockpot or Dutch oven. For same-day cooking, sort and rinse the beans, then cover with 6 to 8 cups of water and bring them to a hard boil for about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let the beans stand for about an hour, then drain and continue with the recipe.