Friday, January 4, 2013

Freezer Meals: Refried Beans

I started making my own refried beans when I found I am allergic to soy. It's in everything, I tell you! I was intimidated at first but have found it to be rather easy. I have used a few different recipes but my favorite so far is one I use with my dutch oven.

I've also used this recipe in the crockpot, but it takes 6-8 hours for the beans to cook through. When using the crockpot I wait to add the salt until I mix the beans adding it slowing, tasting as I go, since some of the salt in the dutch oven recipe gets thrown out with the water.

What I like about this recipe is that there are no added flavors (besides salt). It's just beans. I can use this recipe as is or add taco seasoning to spice it up. I use this recipe for nachos, burritos, or just beans and cheese in a bowl.

Technically I don't "re-fry" the beans, but they are mashed up and have a similar (read: close enough) consistency to canned beans. I can't remember where I got the recipe...but it was somewhere online. It's so basic and simple though.

You need: pinto beans (2 &1/2 cups), salt (2 tsp), and water.

After rinsing and picking out any rocks, place beans and salt in pot and cover with water an inch or two above the beans.

Cover and place in an oven heated to 375 degrees. The recipe I wrote down said the beans only need to cook for 75 minutes to three hours, but I have found that it takes more like four to four and a half hours. Maybe it's because they have you add the salt before baking. I haven't researched or experimented to find out. Anyone know?

Check the beans every few hours to make sure there is still plenty of water. When the beans are tender all the way through pull the pot out and let it cool for a bit. Strain the beans and add them to your mixing bowl.

You can use what ever you have available for mixing. I've used both my Kitchen Aid (below) and my food processor. The Kitchen Aid leave the beans a bit more lumpy but they both get the job done. It may just come down to preference for you. While the beans are mixing I add fresh water until I get the consistency I want.

I made a double batch and was able to fill three 32 oz. freezer containers. 

I've used this recipe with kidney beans, white beans, and black beans adjusting the cook time as needed. If you want whole beans just drain and rinse the beans and store in freezer containers or ziplock baggies in desired measurements. I try to do this so I can stay away from canned beans but don't always have the time.

Let me know if you have any questions.

P.S. I don't take pictures to show off my photography skills. Because I don't have any. The pictures are just a visual aid.

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