This is such a great recipe for refried beans and using your slow cooker makes preparing them a breeze. These refried beans are low in fat (almost no fat), high in protein and has all those phytonutrients we read about. The best part for me is the recipe makes a HUGE amount that I can keep in several freezer containers, which is perfect when I don’t feel like cooking or it’s Meatless Monday (makes the best bean burritos). They’re also perfect as a warm bean dip topped with a little sharp cheddar (or cheese of choice) and served with tortilla chips.
I’m using dried black beans here, but regular pinto beans work just as well–your choice. Black beans seem a little sweeter to me, which seems popular around my house.
A few ingredients are optional, like the lime juice and the zest along with cilantro. I think the lime makes the beans taste a little fresher and the cilantro—Love it or hate it–I love it! Adjust the garlic to your liking as well.
Also, if you feel the need to soak the beans overnight, feel free but you don’t have to for this recipe. There is some thought that soaking makes the beans a little easier on the digestive system and may up the nutritional value somehow. I’ve done it both ways and don’t see a difference.
Salting the beans before or after cooking? Don’t notice a difference with this recipe either way. If you’re adding salt at the beginning, start with 3 teaspoons and add the rest to your taste after they cook so you don’t end up with a “too salty” pot of beans.
Sometimes I have to add a little water to the “frozen” refrieds just to make them a little more stirrable and dippable.
Refried Beans--The Slow Cooker Way
- 1 yellow onion peeled and quartered
- 3 cups dry black beans rinsed (check for stones/pebbles)
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and rough chopped (or leave seeds/ membrane in for extra HEAT)
- 2-3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1¾ teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoon ground cumin more or less to taste
- Zest and juice of 1 lime optional
- 3-5 teaspoons salt or seasoning salt
- 9 cups water
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro more to taste (optional)
PLACE the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, pepper, cumin and lemon zest and juice into a slow cooker. ADD water. STIR to combine. COOK on High for 6 hours or Low for about 8. Check beans for doneness about 4 hours after starting as temperatures on low cookers can vary. (You can’t overcook these, though)
STRAIN cooked beans and RESERVE about 2 cups of the liquid as you may need it to make the beans more blendable. MASH beans with a potato masher, immersion (stick) blender or even a regular blender (leave the middle plastic top off the lid to avoid exploding beans all over your kitchen). ADD reserved liquid as needed until desired smooth consistency is obtained. TASTE beans and ADD salt, 1 teaspoon at a time, until beans are salty to taste. ADD cilantro. Continue to BLEND until everything is mixed and smooth.