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28 July 2011

Beans, beans and more beans.

This week, I bought a 20 pound bag of pinto beans.  Yep, you read that right.  20 pounds. 

It was only $6.89 for the entire bag.  That works out to 34 cents per pound for beans.  Now that's a bargain. 

So, are you wondering what in the world I'm going to do with that many beans? 

My plan is to make some, freeze some and store some.  Let me explain.

Beans can stretch your budget beyond far.  They are cheap, filling and a great source of protein. 

One of my favorite bean recipes is for re fried beans.  Here's what I do:

Use about 2 pounds of beans, cover with water and let soak overnight.  In the morning, drain, put in the crock pot and add water until just covered.  Then add in one chopped onion, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1 TBSP minced garlic. 

Let cook on low all day.  Check often to make sure they don't dry out.  If needed, add some water.  Not too much though...your not making soup.

When they're good and soft, mash with a potato masher. 
If they seem too soupy, put them on the stove to cook down to the right consistency.

Did you notice they're not actually re fried?  Unlike what you get in the restaurants and canned in the grocery store, these don't contain lard.  That's right.  Lard free beans.  That's a good thing.

I then let them cool and use them for all kinds of things: 
Bean burritos, tostados, a side dish.  Sometimes I serve them warmed up with a can of tomatoes on top of rice.  Quick and easy lunch.

You can use regular pinto beans in chili, add them to taco meat to stretch a meal, and don't forget the WV staple - soup beans and cornbread. 

I'm also going to store some dry beans in my canning jars.  If kept dry, beans have a very long shelf life. 

Bean Tostado from Good Cheap Eats
 So don't forget to add beans to your shopping list this week!


Rachel E. said...

I love beans. I also make my own refried beans. They taste wonderful and I don't re fry them either. My recipe has garlic, salt, cumin, and chili powder. I usually make a large batch and freeze it.

Do you know if you are supposed to can refried beans? I would like to can them, but haven't heard of anyone doing it.

Charli said...

Good question. I've never heard of anyone canning cooked beans before, but I would think you could. I mean, you can buy them in a can, so I usually think there must be some way to can them at home. I always freeze mine too. I think homemade beans taste better anyway.

BB said...

Yes you can can beans. If you use your pressure cooker for beans to cook them, it only takes about twenty minutes. You still soak them overnight.

Charli said...

What pressure for the 20 minutes? I'm totally trying this.