DIY,  Recipes,  Thrift

Don’t Buy Those Canned Refried Beans

There are plenty of good reasons not to buy canned beans or grocery store hummus. There are even more reasons not to buy refried beans in a can.

Even More Reasons Not to Buy Refried Beans in a Can

1. Homemade refried beans taste better 

2. Cost (see why I love dried beans)

3. Ingredients (The leached plastic chemicals from the can lining aren’t listed in the ingredients.)
4. You don’t have to try to scrape homemade refried beans out of a can
5. Homemade refried beans are easy to make (especially with precooked frozen beans)

6. You can pick what type of beans to use
Steve is the refried bean master at our house
After cooking the beans (or thawing out precooked frozen beans), make sure the beans are well cooked and easy to mash.  Start sauteing veggies (onions, garlic, green pepper, jalapenos) in your fat of choice (we use organic unsalted sweet cream butter). If you’re using cumin seeds instead of ground cumin, you might also add this to the saute.  Drain out most (not all) of the excess bean cooking water. If you are using frozen beans, you may have to add just a small amount of water (or broth), which can be used to heat them up if you didn’t pre-thaw. Steve says 1-2 cups of water to 6 cups cooked (1 lb dry) beans. 

Now combine your veggies and your beans. Doesn’t that look tasty? I get hungry just thinking about it. It also smells divine. You can make that number 7 on the list of why to make your own refried beans. Making homemade refried beans makes your house smell divine.

Add any spices (salt, cayenne pepper, cilantro, crushed red chiles, etc.) now and cook just a little longer. Once the flavors have melded you can get out your potato masher. 

Some skip the melding step (and the little bit of water) and throw the drained cooked beans and saute straight into the food processor. I think it tastes better if you allow the flavors to get to know each other before smashing the beans. Also, by keeping the bean water and boiling off the excess liquid, all the broth taste (and nutrients) stays in the beans AND you don’t have to clean the food processor.

Once the beans are smashed, continue to stir over low heat to boil off  any excess water until the beans are the consistency you’re looking for. Keep in mind that if you are using the beans for a dip that won’t be kept warm, they may stiffen up after they cool down a little.

Steve’s Refried Beans

1 lb dried beans ,slightly overcooked (we use pinto/cranberry or black)
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, chopped
1/2 a green pepper, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
cumin, salt, cayenne pepper and cilantro to taste
fat of your choice (butter, olive oil, coconut oil, lard)

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