Super Easy Refried Beans Recipe

The picture is simple, because I only share recipes that are simple, easy to throw together, and safe to eat. You can make this recipe on a camping trip.

Refried beans are usually made from pinto beans, but any bean will do. Black beans are easy to find and amazingly cheap. Adzuki beans are high in protein and fun to bring to parties because they’re unique.

When making your own beans, an unhealthy ingredient to avoid is the poison of expectation. YOUR beans are not supposed to look like your Mom’s beans or the beans at a busy restaurant. The joy of REAL food is you cannot mess it up, because it grew from the earth just for you. When you eat beans you are instantly winning the game of health.

On your mark, get set, GO!

  • Dump rinsed beans into a pot

  • Cover with lots of water

  • Cook on low for a long time

  • Drain excess water

That’s it! You’re done. Season and enjoy.

The term “refried” usually identifies beans cooked with Crisco, lard, oil, or something else that doesn’t grow in the ground and thus isn’t food. For us, the term “refried” indicates a consistency; the smoothy goodness that melds into whatever else you put in your tortilla.

Whether you cook your beans in a CrockPot, over the stove on low heat, or over a campfire, the key is low and slow. You can soak the beans in water ahead of time if you want them to cook faster, but I’ll bet you have better things to do than remember to soak beans. If you find beans give you gas, try cooking them with a half a potato. The potato absorbs the gas. Throw the potato away after cooking!

Store leftovers in the freezer; 2 cups equals one can. Smash the Ziplock flat for easy stacking. When you heat your homemade beans later you can chuckle to yourself remembering all the time you used to waste waiting for your unsafe fast food to arrive at a drive through window.

Interesting fact: Azuki bean futures are traded on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. In America they are usually sold as Adzuki beans.

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Whole Wheat Tortilla Recipe

Is there anything better than a fresh hot meal when you’ve been outside all day?

When I moved to Texas one of my first discoveries was the majestic homemade tortilla. We had tortillas in Oregon, but they were not the same as the pillowy goodness I encountered during my first winter in South Texas. One evening Nana, the sweet lady in charge of my dorm, knocked on my door to invite me to her room for tortillas and beans. Most of the girls had gone home for the holidays and the cafeteria was closed on weekends.

Nana’s sister, Maria, was visiting from nearby Mexico. Nana had a stove in her room and the smell of refried beans filled the old converted Army barracks. They showed me how to heat a tortilla, then line the tortilla with refried beans and fold it so the beans could not escape. They laughed as I tried out my high school Spanish and they fed me as many warm tortillas as I could eat. I will forever be grateful for their kindness in feeding a random kid my first winter away from home.

Tortillas are comfort food. I know some of you have happy memories associated with this delicious and versatile snack. Your Mom or your Tia fed you after a long day of playing outside and you know in your heart there is a way to reconcile that memory with your dream of perfect health.

Unfortunately, the tortilla has been relegated to the back burner as an unhealthy option. Not true! People have been eating tortillas and beans for hundreds if not thousands of years. The wise ones who remember can attest to good health and great beauty in the mountains of old Mexico. It was better then, they will tell you.

This recipe packs all the healthy goodness of plants into a warm promising circle of hope. I make them small enough to fit in the toaster and store some in the freezer for emergencies. An emergency is any time Ed and I bring friends home after a fun adventure. Midnight snacks? Yes, please! Another round for all.

We modified this recipe in honor of Nana and every loving soul who adopts stray kids at supper time.

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 smashed avocado

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

2/3 cup warm water

  • Mix with a fork or in a food processor (look at you, all fancy with your food processor) until you feel true happiness set in.
  • Form one big clump of doughy goodness and leave in the refrigerator for anywhere from 1 minute to 3 days. Cover with plastic wrap, of course.
  • Chop into 16 pieces like a woodchuck who chucks wood. Whack!
  • Roll into cute little balls.

If the dough sticks to your hands, you can put a splash of oil on your hands. Your kitchen, your rules.

Smash the balls between plastic wrap until they look flat. I don’t care if you roll them with the can of beans you are about to consume or press with your fingers – this is YOUR FOOD and YOUR HOUSE. The only job your tortillas have is to bring you and anyone lucky enough to eat with you some serious noms. You don’t have time for circular expectations when you are busy saving your own life. No one stops a firefighter and asks them to take out the trash. You do what you want.

Congratulate yourself for making a superhero snack and cook over Medium heat on a non-stick skillet for about 2 minutes per side.

Undercooked = soft and pliable.

Overcooked = crunchy and stout.

You seriously can’t screw up.

If you don’t have an avocado you can substitute 2 Tablespoons of any oil unless you are miraculously reversing heart disease. Did you know you can reverse heart disease? How awesome are you! I take a moment to cheer for you while my freezer door is open. Woo!

Note: It’s totally safe to eat the dough raw – the only reason for cooking is to obtain that toasty warm crusty layer on the outside. Restraint is necessary if you want some left over to freeze, but if you eat them all at once, standing over the stove, you’ll still be trim and energetic. It is next to impossible to overeat when you’re eating plant-based food.

Did you make these? Let us know! #HeavenlyNoms

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