Homemade Refried Beans… they really are easy!

Filed in Gather Food Essential by on August 29, 2011 0 Comments

Shared today on my blog: Bizz & BooBoo:

In my constant quest to make as much as possible from scratch and feed my family the best foods I can I decided to make some homemade refried beans.

They are one of the easiest dishes I have made! You must plan ahead because it takes a few days to soak, cook, mash, cook and have ready to eat. But it is very little hands on work.

The first thing I did was search online to get some ideas on how to make homemade refried beans, I had no idea. I found several different ways – but the one I went off of was this one from Health, Home & Happiness! I’ve been following this blog for awhile and have seen lots of great recipes and ideas, but this is the first I have tried!

First I put about 4 cups of dried pinto beans into my crock pot (did not turn on) and covered with water – then let these soak overnight.

Wow, I did not realize how much the beans would grow – *almost* overflowed my crock and had an oops….

Why should you soak your beans, why not just buy canned beans, and why eat beans at all? Here is some info from page 495 in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (I highly recommend this book as a starting point if you are trying to convert to eating “real” food):

“Legumes are rich in minerals and B vitamins. Recent research indicates that legumes contain several anticancer agents.

Such care in preparation [soaking of beans for long periods of time] ensures that legumes will be thoroughly digestible and all the nutrients they provide well assimilated, because such careful preparation neutralizes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors and breaks down difficult to digest complex sugars.

What about canned beans? …the danger is that such processing [high temps and pressures] overdenatures proteins and other nutrients at the same time. Canned beans are best eaten sparingly.”

Once I soaked the beans and saw how much they grew I took about 1/4 of them out and put in the fridge to cook later, really didn’t want to overflow my crockpot when they were cooking!

I rinsed the beans very well in a large strainer and placed them back in the crockpot covered in water on the low setting.

Then they cooked overnight…… This is what the beans looked like in the morning!

Next I strained the beans and placed them back in the crockpot to mash. I used my potato masher and a wooden spoon! At this point I also added half an onion that I diced into small piece, sea salt, and a generous amount of homemade chicken broth. As mentioned in the original recipe I went off – my chicken broth has a lot of fat on the top that I do not skim off, so that is the fat we used. My hubby doesn’t eat pork so lard was not an option, and I didn’t have access to any duck fat :)

I let the mashed beans cook for about another 4-5 hrs on low heat and they were done!

We enjoyed a portion of them with homemade chicken enchiladas that night and heated them up for tacos and breakfast burritos the next two days.

The rest I put in mason jars in portion sizes we would use for one meal and froze!

Next time I make them I will make a few changes. I will add some peppers and other spices along with the onion to give them more flavor! As with anything it will be a constantly changing recipe…. but it is a good base to start with!

~Jesse

**Don’t forget to enter to win your own container of the brand new Chico Organic Produce & Nut Wash from Greenfeet Homestore. Giveaway ends 8/31 – very low entries right now!

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