Believe it or not, the first time I made my own refried beans was just a little over a year ago. They are something that I love making. They have so many things going for them:
1. Super crazy cheap. The beans are $1.50, stock $2.50 or even better if you make your own and then it’s free, a lime is about 25 cents, garlic – pennies, spices – even fewer pennies.
2. Ridiculously tasty. I mean really good stuff here. Since it’s a slow cook, they simmer in the spices and the garlic and it makes me want to lick the bowl.
3. Packed with nutrition. In just a cup of these, you are going to get 20% of your daily value of iron (non-heme), 15 grams of protein, 15 g of fiber, 74% of your daily value of folate…need I continue. I mean come on, have I convinced you yet?
4. They are almost completely hands off. All it takes is a little prep time for an overnight soak and a day in the slow cooker and other than your time, that’s about as hard as it gets.
There have been many a morning that I’ve woken up and realized I forgot to soak the beans. I could do a quick cook, but even the quick cook takes a little longer than I would like.
Really, the slow cooker is where it’s at when it comes to beans. It is by far my favorite method. I just cover them with water. They are going to get drained in the morning anyway, so I’d rather have a little too much than not enough.
This is a 8 hours in the soak and 7 hours in the slow cooker on low, fast forward. This is the end result of all the ingredients added in the morning and a relaxing 7 hours later. Do you see that little piece of garlic poking its way to the top?
I had to give the final picture one more time. When we were stateside, I used my immersion blender to mash these babies into perfection, but they are so tender that I use a potato masher now. Oh, and I don’t have a 220V immersion blender.
If you have some time for a slow cooked dinner, try this. It also freezes great!
- 1 lb dry pinto beans
- 3.5 cups vegetable stock
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- Rinse dry beans and place in a bowl or a slow cooker
- Cover with water
- Allow to soak for 8 hours
- After the soak, drain and rinse beans, pull out any bad beans or rocks that you may find
- Transfer to the slow cooker and add all the ingredients
- Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 7 hours
- If needed, stir every 2 hours
- After 7 hours, there should still be some liquid surrounding the beans
- Mash the beans or puree with an immersion blender, the beans should easily smash
- If you feel your beans are too dry, add small amounts of stock
- Keep warm until ready to serve