Easy “Unfried” Refried Black Beans

I’m pretty sure that if given the chance my entire diet might consist of beans. And ice cream. And avocados. And brownies.

Ok. . . I’m not fooling anyone. I have way too many “favorites”. But I do really love beans. Of all kinds.

The bummer for me is that Tim is not a fan. He tried one little, itty, bitty, almost invisible bite of these and that’s all I could persuade him to try. Even though these are SO delicious and begging to be covered in melted cheese and scooped up with tortilla chips. Nope. Not in Tim’s world. He has about as much love for beans as he does for raccoons. (Not that we cook any raccoons around here but he might be more willing to try a bite of roasted raccoon than he is to try beans!)

Needless to say, I keep my bean cooking to a minimum. I opt for them on nights when he isn’t home or I eat them for lunch or sneak them into things I know he will eat, even with beans. (Like chili.)

Beans are just so versatile and cheap. You can make anything out of a bean. Burgers? Yup. Brownies? Yup. Breakfast? Yup. So adaptable to most flavor profiles. I just adore them!

Another thing about beans? They don’t photograph that great when they are pureed. I had a hard time getting even mildly delicious looking pictures to share with you. I know these may not be entirely appetizing. However, let me assure you, they taste fantastic!

And they are so easy. I love when the crock pot does my cooking. I lean on it heavily some weeks.

I used the bowl of the crock pot to soak the beans overnight. I even cut up the onion and garlic and measured out the seasoning the night before. In the morning I just drained the soaking water, threw all the beans and everything else back in the crock pot and covered it all with water. It only took a couple of minutes and it was all cooking over low heat and I was out the door to work. When I got home it took all of 10 minutes to get it all pureed and ready to eat. Easy.

The other great thing about these beans? They are cheaper than canned, they have no fat or animal lard, and they make enough to freeze a few cups for the next time you need refried beans. (They would make a quick and easy dip if you were going to a holiday party. Just thaw, heat, stir in some shredded cheese or sour cream or extra seasoning and serve with chips!)

By the way, I pureed all but a cup or so of the beans and then stirred the whole beans back in at the end for a little texture. If you prefer them more smooth you can puree the whole batch. Personal preference.

This week I will be busily packing for our upcoming vacation! Next monday when you read this blog I will be heading to the Florida Keys. A little beach and sun for our upcoming wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving.

While on vacation, one of my favorite things is local, fresh food. Stone crab, etc. So my plan is to semi-document some of our more noteworthy meals. I will be posting these pics to the Sugar Coated Sarah Facebook page. Please be sure to go “Like” the Facebook page and check it out! I know you want to see all the deliciousness!

Refried Black Beans

1 1lb bag dried black beans

1-2 dried ancho chili peppers

1 medium onion, peeled and quartered

4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin

Rinse beans and place in a crock pot. Fill crock pot with water. DO NOT turn on. Let the beans soak overnight.

In the morning drain the beans and put them back in the crock pot. Add the peppers, onion, garlic, salt, cumin. Fill with water until the water level is about 2 inches above the top of the beans. Turn crock pot on low and let cook for 6-8 hours.

After 6-8 hours, drain bean mixture, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Set one cup of the cooked beans aside. Put the rest of the bean in the bowl of a food processor along with the onion, garlic and peppers. Add a little of the bean cooking water to help it puree smoothly. Add more water as needed. Puree the mixture. Once it’s as smooth as you like stir the reserved black beans back in for a little texture.

Use on nachos, in taco, eat by the bowl full, etc. Will keep in the fridge for a week or you can portion it out and freeze it for future bean needs.

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