Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beans, beans and more beans!

In these lean economic times we are all looking for healthy ways to feed our family on a dime. It is even better when the results are better then what you can get in the store!
I started doing my own beans a little over a year ago and have not bought store bought beans since. It is so easy to do up a pot of beans and have them in the fridge for lunches, a quick side or dinner. I have given this recipe out a hundred times and it is a staple for a lot of my family. I had 2 requests for it this week so I thought I better get it posted. I originally got this recipe from Amy over at Sisters Dish. She is a great one for build your own Mexican food.
This process you can use to make any kind of beans. I have done white beans, and black beans using this same technique. I have also frozen the cooked beans and used them in soups and they defrost perfect.
I buy my pinto beans at Costco. You can get a 25 pound bag for about 10 bucks. Honestly we went through our first bag in about 6 mos. I buy my spices in bulk from Smiths or Winco. They are a tiny fraction of the cost there.
Smashed Beans
The night before I rinse and soak 3 cups of beans. My sister Meesha soaks 6 cups and then uses 1/2 and freezes 1/2 so her next batch is pre-soaked......genius. If you see any foam on top you will want to scoop it off. This is the name of the game in keeping your beans from being gassy. Anytime during the process if you see foam....scoop, scoop, scoop. In the morning...or when you get to it...rinse the beans with fresh water (another digestion helper). Put the beans in a crockpot (just the regular size not the huge size) with 3 Tbsp bacon grease (I always leave the grease out and it is still great). Cover them with water (you want to have about 2 inches over the beans). Cook them on high for 6 hours, or low for 8-10 hours. Remember watch for foam and check to be sure the beans stay covered in water. The cooking time is not an exact science. Older beans take longer to cook. You will know it is done when you can easily mush one on the counter.
When the beans have about a 1/2 hour left to cook add: 5 jalapeno rings (I keep a jar in my fridge just for this, you could probably do fresh), 1/2 T season salt, 1/2 T garlic salt, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1 T chili powder. After the 1/2 hour scoop the beans into a food processor (or blender, or hand mash). Add 1 cup cheese and enough liquid to bring it to the consistency you would like (don't skimp on the liquid, it makes them great). Good luck!


  1. Made these last night and then swooned for them. So good! Do you put the same seasonings/spices in when you to other beans?

    I don't know why I didn't try this before? It's seems SO much harder than opening a can, but it just ain't.

  2. Sheesh! I keep forgetting to try these. I have my big crockpot upstairs, so I'll have to do it TONIGHT! Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Deja, I only cook the other beans using this method. I don't season them, although Lee really wants me to try seasoning some black beans this way.

  4. I'm nervous about getting a little bag at the regular grocery store of dried beans --seems like they don't rotate as often so I've gotten old ones sometimes. Do you ever have trouble with costco ones? maybe I've just got to go big or go home. and buy a real crockpot...

  5. I got some at Wal-mart...OLD and VERY gassy. Lee made me toss them. I went through the whole bag at Costco and they were great. I also do well with the Winco ones.

  6. This recipe is really good. Remember how quickly they disappear whenever we have them at parties?

  7. I am new to your blog, but I had heard good things about your bean recipes. . . we made these yesterday, and my randomly-picky family LOVED them!!! We couldn't stop eating them. They are the closest thing to our favorite Mexican restaurant's beans that we have ever found! Thanks for a great recipe!

  8. FYI, I'm totally trying this in my pressure cooker this morning to take refried beans camping tonight! Crossing my fingers! I've never done beans in the pressure cooker before.