I recently stopped purchasing canned foods. And–not to be bossy–but I think you should too. Why? Because most canned foods, as well as those packaged in various plastics, show traces of BPA. What’s BPA, you ask? It’s a chemical that has been restricted in Canada and some US states because it has been linked to a disturbing number of health effects including various cancers, reproductive abnormalities, heart disease, and diabetes.
Considering I’ve always used canned beans and tomatoes, I was rather disturbed by this discovery. I mean, is it just me or should this be a far more publicized fact? Especially considering the amount of canned foods our nation consumes.
I think it’s appalling. Which is why I’ve given up canned foods cold turkey.
We’ve since had to be slightly more creative with food choices.
Like moving from canned tomatoes, to these.
And ditching canned kidneys and pintos and cannellonis to the dry variety. We’d previously switched over to organic canned beans, not because of the organic factor, but because those were the only kind I could find that didn’t have added sugar.
Added sugar. In beans. Who knew?
Dry beans are much, much cheaper anyway. But they’re also much more time consuming to prepare.
Unless. Unless you make good use of your slow cooker. Like I did today.
I thought I’d share a recipe for non-refried refried beans with you. Just in case you, too, want to preserve the health of your family by switching from canned beans to dry.
Imposter Refried Beans
3 c. dry pinto beans
2 cloves garlic (pressed or finely grated)
5 t. salt
1 small onion, quartered
1/2 t. cumin
Juice from 1 lime
Forgive the picture quality. I had to use my cheapie camera because the battery on my good one was charging. But even on my best photog day, Pioneer Woman I most certainly am not. Moving right along…
You start by soaking your beans, overnight, in a pot large enough to cover the beans completely with water.
After a good 8 or so hour soak, the beans will be much softer. I’ve also heard it said that soaking the beans releases some of the gas. That’s all I have to say about that.
So then, you’re going to want to rinse your beans in a colander before dumping them into your Crock pot. Or slow cooker, same thing.
Atop the beans, sprinkle the salt and cumin. Add the garlic, onion, and lime juice. Finish it off by adding enough water to cover the beans with about an inch of water.
Cook on high for 6-8 hours.
Once the beans have finished cooking, you may need to drain some of the water, depending upon how much water was soaked up during the cooking. You just want the beans to move freely in the water, not swim in it. Reserve the water in case you need to add it back in later. One you’ve removed the excess water, mash the beans with a potato masher. Turn the heat down to low and allow the beans to cook for another thirty minutes or so. They’ll thicken slightly, especially if you toss in a handful of Monterey jack cheese. When all is said and done, you’ll be left with a crock full of delicious, nutritious beans, perfect for stuffing burritos or as a side dish to enchiladas or tacos.
Here’s a picture. But keep in mind that it’s really, really hard to make refried beans look appetizing. M’kay? But they were. Appetizing, I mean. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.