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In the Test Kitchen with Instant Refried Beans!

Post by community member:

Recently, I found an instant refried bean mix by Kenya Cook. Intrigued, I decided to test it!

Instantrefriedbeans1

This is the original recipe from the above link that I tested “as is” and made a few improvements and comments noted at the end. This recipe is super cheap and will keep as a pantry staple for a quick mix.

Ingredients:
3 cups dried navy or pinto beans
3 teaspoons dried cumin
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons dried minced onion

In a coffee grinder, food mill, or blender, grind beans until a flour consistency. Combine all ingredients and store jar or Ziploc bag.

To Use:
3/4 cup mix
2 1/2 cups boiling water

Mix with a wire whisk until combined. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until thickened. Mixture will thicken more as it cools. Refried beans will remain thickened even when reheating. You can add salsa or chopped chili peppers for added zip.

instantrefriedbeans2

Test Recipe Procedure:
Step 1. Measure 3 cups of clean dry pinto beans into your food grinder processing as fine as possible. I used a Nutrimill Food Grinder and processed at just past medium grind. This took about 5 minutes. Mine came out flour consistency.

Instantrefriedbeans5

instantrefriedbeans41

instantrefriedbeans12

Step 2. Mix with the rest of listed ingredients and store into jars with label directions. This recipe yielded 1 1/2 quarts of mix.

instantrefriedbeans11

Step 3. Bring water to a boil then remove from heat as this stuff will foam and spatter at first. With your wire whisk, stir in the bean mixture a little at a time. Lower heat to medium and return to heat stirring while simmering for 5 minutes.

instantrefriedbeans9

Step 4. Pour into serving bowl.

instantrefriedbeans8

First impression – This becomes gelatinous pretty quick.

jello

Not a trait I’ve seen in canned versions though can be tolerated.

Taste test – Kind of bland. To the finished product I added:

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

This produced a better flavor!

Conclusion – The benefit of this recipe is that it’s a very inexpensive protein to keep in the pantry as a quick mix, making it a keeper. The negative, however, is the texture. If anyone has a suggestion to improve the end result, please share. Perhaps mixing in a little cream or cheese before serving would improve the final texture? Let me know if you try it!


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Posted by on March 5, 2013 | Permalink  

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  1. 3-5
    4:48
    pm
    Avatar of prvrbs31gal

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Refried-Beans-Without-the-Refry/Detail.aspx

    This is the recipe I use. I make a double batch in the crock pot and then dehydrate it. I then crumble it up and store it in quart jars. When I need it, I simply heat up some hot water in a pot on the stove, then add in the dehydrated beans. I let them rehydrate over low heat and you cannot tell they weren’t freshly made.

    It’s not as easy as your recipe, but with the onions and garlic and cumin, it’s very tasty (I don’t even add the jalapeno!)

  2. 3-5
    5:32
    pm
    Avatar of Heidi

    If you look at traditional recipes you would notice that they use some type of fat in the beans. I grew up close to Me-hi-co so I had a lot of friends whose moms cooked some traditional food, and I seem to remember that you cook them with bacon grease or lard. I’m assuming it acts as an emulsifier. You could try adding a certain amount of oil, maybe 1 tbsp or tsp, at a time until you get a good consistency. That is my suggestion! Very cool recipe though, I had never thought to do that.

  3. 3-5
    6:14
    pm
    Avatar of Robin from Rurification

    Genius! Thanks for trying this out and posting it. I love stuff that I can pull out at the last minute and make a meal around.

  4. 3-6
    6:02
    am
    Avatar of Kenya Cook

    This isn’t my recipe, but one I’ve been wanting to try. Haven’t done it yet b/c I haven’t yet found a grinder in Kenya. I’m glad you tried it and I do think the tip with adding oil is a good idea. When I tried hummus made from chickpea flour, I found it needed more flavoring than hummus made from cooked chickpeas. And the extra oil definitely helps.

  5. 3-6
    9:33
    am
    Avatar of Vivian

    Perhaps this makes a better bean “dip” than refried bean dish…..the consistency looks like it would work well with Fritos or other corn chips??? I agree, I think some oil would help!

  6. 3-6
    10:46
    am
    Avatar of CindyP

    To add oil for flavoring, I wonder if making a roux with bacon grease and this as flour would work?

    But that’s an awful lot of fat after I just relooked at the recipe…3/4 cup fat, 3/4 cup mix.

  7. 3-7
    9:16
    am
    Avatar of fmcdaniel

    Awesome! I was JUST talking to my fiance about trying to make hummus from garbanzo flour. This is brilliant!

  8. 3-7
    8:52
    pm
    Avatar of Joy

    Some suggestions:instead of adding salt after you cook the beans, add 1/2 of a bouillon cube (or a teaspoon of Better than Bouillon base) to the water. This will add a more complex taste than plain salt.

    Also, Heidi is right that refried beans usually are made with fat–usually bacon grease or meat fat of some kind. Onions are sauteed, cooked beans and spices added and everything mashed up (or this is the way they were made in the southwest by women from Mexico in my day.)

  9. 3-8
    9:54
    am
    Avatar of Pete

    Hmmm. Am thinking of a LOT of reasons to keep this “flour” handy – like adding some to soups to up the protein level!

    We can dried beans without seasoning and often use a pint of them instead of potatoes with breakfast. We just dump them in a frying pan with some butter and onion. Heat and mush them a bit.

    Oh, the possibilities for using ground beans!

  10. 3-9
    5:51
    pm
    Avatar of debbow

    from what I have been reading many beans its benificial to soak prior to use to get rid of phytic acid which can make it difficult to utilize certain nutrients Does anyone have a take on this?
    I love the idea of being able to grind beans to utilize them faster in so many ways

  11. 3-12
    1:47
    pm
    Avatar of jojo

    What a great idea, my Husband is not fond of many beans in chili, so I add (sneak) a can of refried beans to the chili, it makes it thicker and richer tasting. I spent several years in Del Rio Texas and loved the fresh homemade tortillias slathered with refried beans topped with chopped onions, jalapenos and some cheese, so good.

  12. 3-15
    12:39
    am
    Avatar of Joy

    Oh, debbow, you’ve started another whole LONG discussion by bringing up phytic acid! Some claim it has bad effects and some beneficial. But it does seem to be a point of discussion in populations with poor nutrition, little dairy or meat, and high reliance on beans and grains for most food. Whether that includes vegans I haven’t heard. Nutrition and diet seems so full of quacks, cranks, worrywarts, evangelists, and plain con artists these days. Avoid this, eat these superfoods, never eat this together, take this supplement cause food will kill you! Yikes. It kind of makes you afraid to eat ANYTHING.

  13. 3-15
    1:54
    am
    Avatar of debbow

    Joy I so agree with you it’s so hard to know fact from fiction/hype

  14. 3-27
    8:01
    pm
    Avatar of

    I just bought a grainmill,that stressed no moisture, how do you clean the beans? After picking them over can they be washed and dried by hand? Do I leave them to dry out again over night, or in the oven for a bit?

  15. 4-6
    11:42
    pm
    Avatar of

    Still waiting for an answer…???

  16. 4-7
    12:37
    am
    Avatar of Mrs. Shaw

    Hello, I too have endevored to find instruction to ensure the beans were cleaned. Though nothing satisfactory has been found; I washed mine in a sieves briefly and left to dry thoroughly for a day. I live in a dry climate making it easier to achieve a fully dry product. If you doubt the dryness don’t put them into your grinder.

  17. 4-8
    7:33
    pm
    Avatar of

    Thanx! I will try this…last time I ground pinto beans I was severely sick..must have not been clean enough. Thanx again!!!

  18. 4-17
    6:55
    pm
    Avatar of Pete

    Read some years ago that the (shall we say) digestive issues many have with beans is more prevelant among those who eat them infrequently. Evidently, according to this theory, if the digestive tract processes beans regularly, all works just fine without the side effects.

    That kinda made some sense to me, and fit with my own experience with beans in general. Of course, not certain if others would have similar results. ;)

  19. 7-14
    9:34
    pm
    Avatar of Jamie O

    I’m wondering if you added some bacon grease or lard to the mixture while you are mixing the hot water in if this will help with the “gelatin” texture and maybe make them a bit creamier. I will try this recipe and let you know how it turns out.

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