There is nothing like coming home to a pot of seasoned, tender, slow cooked beans. You can be very creative in your flavoring, and make them exactly the way you like them. They are also super cheap and easy to make, and are a staple in our house. We have beans in some capacity up to several times a week. Filled with fiber, nutrients, and protein, they provide you with a lot of energy and strength.
My favorite way to make refried beans is in the slow cooker. The beans can cook while you are busy with chores and errands, and when you get home you can have the meal ready in no time. Served with fresh home made tortillas, topped with guacamole, salsa, and vegan cheese sauce, it is definitely a favorite.
1 pound of dried organic pinto beans
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small jalapeño, chopped (discard the seeds if you prefer less heat)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 bay leaf
2-3 teaspoon salt
1. Several hours before: Sort, rinse, and soak the beans. Cover with plenty of fresh water (9 cups +). Let soak for 8 hours or so.
2. Drain water, rinse beans
Note: Soaking and changing water decreases problems with digestion.
3. Place beans in a slow cooker, cover with water (2 in. above beans)
4. Flavor the water with onion, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, bay leaf (remove after cooking), red pepper flakes.
Note: If you are making refried beans, add salt after cooking as this will make the beans easier to mash, but if you want the beans intact add salt to the water before cooking.
5. Cook beans in a slow cooker for 5-7 hours or so, until beans are tender.
6. Drain water off beans, keep some in case you need to moisten the beans later.
7. Mash with a potato masher until smooth, stir with a wooden spoon, add salt to taste.
Note: You may choose to add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to increase flavor and consistency, but this is entirely optional. You can add cooking water from the beans instead as needed.