Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Making "Refried" Beans

My children really love bean dip. Really love it. With non-GMO corn chips, of course. But regular cans of refried beans contain MSG, and organic cans are way too pricey. So we make our own. Here's what we do:

First, we start by sorting through a 2-pound bag of pinto beans, taking out any bad beans or rocks. Yes, we find rocks in the beans sometimes.

Next, we leave the beans to soak overnight. Place the beans in your crockpot. Fill the crockpot with water. Add two tablespoons of plain yogurt (or lemon juice) to break down the phytic acid, make the beans more digestible, and make the nutrients more available. Cover and leave overnight.

The next morning, rinse the beans and place them back in the crockpot. Cover them with chicken stock so that the stock just barely covers the beans. You can also use beef stock, but it gives a stronger flavor. This time around I used some chicken stock that my sweet sister-in-law brought to me.

Add about two tablespoons of chili powder, one tablespoon of salt, one tablespoon of garlic and two teaspoons of cumin. (Of course, if your stock is highly seasoned, you'll want to cut down on those seasonings.)

Let the beans cook on low for 12 to 16 hours. I cooked these for about 16 hours. Store the beans AND cooking juice in the refrigerator until ready to make into Bean Dip.

To make the bean dip, first make your "refried beans" by putting your cooked beans and the cooking juice through the food processor in batches. Here Spiderman has done the first batch and you can see the beans that are left in the pot ready for processing.

Boys love power tools. And power appliances. Spiderman is a very willing kitchen helper if it involves the food processor. Here is the first batch of "refried beans" he made. This is when they are quite warm. They get a little more firm as they cool. If you like your "refried beans" even more firm, leave out a bit of the cooking juice.

Next, we mix the beans with salsa and cover the mixture with cheese. That's what Tickle is doing below.

Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is soft and bubbly. Serve with non-GMO corn chips. The 2-pound bag of beans made enough for our family to have bean dip for a Saturday lunch, to take to a church pot luck the next Sunday, and for another lunch (just the kids and me) on Monday.

I hope you enjoy this healthy alternative to an all-time favorite party food!

For more Real Food ideas, check out GNOWFGLINS (God's Natural, Organic, Whole Foods Grown Locally, In Season) Tuesday Twister Blog Carnival.


Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS said...

Yumm! Pintos are my favorite. So cute how your little one helps you finish off the dish. I'm glad you joined the Tuesday Twister and I hope to see you again! :-)

travelingstacey said...

Yay! I'm so excited about this because I have a 4 lb bag of pintos that I had no idea how to cook! I think my family...and friends...will enjoy this. Thanks for the recipe!

Andrea Manor said...

would these freeze well?

Amy Ellen said...

Hey Andrea,

Hmmm... freeze well? I might try to freeze the beans in their cooking juice and then thaw that when I wanted to make the dip. I don't think I would try to freeze the dip itself.

I am not quite sure how freezing the food-processed beans would work out... but I do know that I freeze soaked, cooked and drained beans regularly without any trouble.

Hope this helps! ae

Anonymous said...

it's like 9:45 in the morning and now i want some bean dip - looks so yummy!

Ami said...

This is very timely because after looking at the canned beans, I bought dry beans last week. I thought I could surely find a wholesome way to make refried beans if I looked hard enough. Thank you, because I didn't even have to spend any time looking!

Milkmaid said...

This looks so yummy, AE! Thanks.

Jen said...

We love refried beans around here! Last week I planned to make them for a family dinner. However when I went to soak the beans, I realized I was out. I sent hubby to the store the next day to buy canned beans. I never buy them that way, but didn't have a choice this time. I was shocked when he called to tell me the canned refried beans had BHA, BHT, and hydrogenated lard in it. Now why do they have to hydrogenate a healthy fat like lard?? Anyway, I had him buy regular canned pintos and I refried them myself in pastured, healthy bacon grease. Oh my were they good!

Thanks for this version... so simple, and healthy with the chicken stock too. :)

Muthering Heights said...

Great tutorial!! I always crave them while pregnant! :)

Melanie and Josh said...

this sounds so yummy, and I have been on the lookout for some good meat-free meals to try to cut back on grocery costs...I went out and bought some dry beans today...I think this might make a good meal for after church on Sunday...as long as I time it right! :) I can't remember, do you suggest the yogurt/lemon juice tip while soaking for ALL beans, or just pinto beans?

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Mel,

Yes, all but lentils and split peas benefit from a good soaking with yogurt or lemon juice.

: ) ae

Brandon and Jamie said...

Would this recipe work with great northern beans? i accidentally put those in the crock pot yesterday! oops. if it doesn't work with refried beans, is their another recipe that would work?

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Jamie,

If you used Great Northerns, it would make a "bean dip" but I don't think it would taste quite like refried beans.

Try this recipe with Great Northerns:

Hope that helps!

Laura said...

Hi Amy,

I cooked some black beans this way and even after soaking all night and then cooking for 15 hours in the chicken stock the beans were still crunchy. I have them soaking again, in hopes that it will help, but not sure how they will turn out having cooked that long. Any suggestions?


P.S. I love your website! I have just come across it this week and I have read tons. Thanks so much!