Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Homemade Refried Beans

These beans are simple goodness, to put it plainly. They are part of my ever-growing list of pantry items that I now make homemade.  Let me tell you they are well worth the small effort it takes, as they basically make themselves.  I love these beans because they just taste fresh and free from extra sodium, sugar and others stuff often found in the canned ones.

Beans are a wonderful food!  They are cheap and healthy, loaded with lots of fiber, iron and potassium, as well as protein.

Homemade Refried Beans
1 lb. dry pinto beans
8-10 cups water
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1/2 medium onion, cut in large chunks
1 1/2 Tbsp.  chicken bouillon granules (or sub part of the water for broth)

2 Tbsp. butter
salt, to taste

Rinse the beans thoroughly and put them in a large pot.   Add water, granulated garlic, onion and bouillon.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium or medium-low.  Off-set a lid on top of the pot and cook until beans are tender.  Depending on the freshness of the beans it could take as little as 1 1/2 hours, up to 3 hours. 

When beans are finished cooking, pour off about half, or more, of the liquid, reserving about a cup, if desired.  Using an immersion blender, puree the beans and onions until smooth.  You'll want to keep them a little runny because they will set up as they cool.  If they are too dry, add some of the reserved liquid to thin them out.  Add butter and salt, to taste. 

*Michele's notes: 
-I like to make a large pot at once because then I can freeze the rest into 1-2 cup portions for later use.  I often add a little more liquid to the ones I'm going to freeze, because as they are reheated, they will lose some liquid.  This keeps them from getting to dry.

-I also like to buy my beans in the bulk section of my grocery store.  They tend to be much more fresh and cook up on the lower end of the cooking time.  The 1-lb bags at the grocery store are much older and often take a long time to cook; although they still should taste fine.

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