Sunday, February 5, 2012

Refried Beans

I've been trying to feed my family less processed foods in an effort to instill a healthy lifestyle with my kids. Yesterday, my neighbor introduced me to a co-op of local farmers, so now, I have a way to obtain fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, eggs, and meat. So excited! It's funny how that little invitation from her has me giddy with the possibilities of creating some really delicious and healthier meals for my family. :)

So, one of the first things that I decided to conquer that I usually buy processed, (because honestly, I was completely afraid of the making process) is re-fried beans. We have tacos weekly in this house, and I just recently tackled one of my other faves that I used to leave to the pros, Taco Pizza, so I figured this one had 2 options: 1. really tasty or 2. really ugh... not for me. Luckily for me it turned out super tasty!! :) Yay!! My kids also said they liked them more than the "other" kind. Double yay!!

These beans were so incredibly easy to make, total cost for a huge crock pot's worth of 're-fried' beans less than $3. Seriously. Not only were they inexpensive, they are delicious!

Here's the easy peasy recipe:

1 yellow onion (mine was about the size of a softball), peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups of dried pinto beans
9 cups of water
1/8 tsp ground cumin (I used 1/4 tsp. and it was not overpowering at all)
5 tsp. salt
1 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (I coarsely ground mine)

Step 1. Rinse beans thoroughly in water, and place in crock pot.

Step 2. Put water into crock pot, and turn crock pot on high.

Step 3. Add onion, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper to crock pot.

Step 4. Cover crock pot and let it cook for 8 hours. Periodically check on it, stir to make sure it doesn't burn to bottom. (Long time to cook, but really worth it. I guess you could do it over night, but I started mine at 10am and they were ready for dinner at 6pm.)

Step 5. I used a slotted spoon to pull my beans out of the crock pot, then placed them into my food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you could mash them however you would like to your desired consistency using a whisk, potato masher, blender, etc . Reserve some of the water to thin out beans if you want them thinner. Entirely up to you.

Enjoy. :)

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