Easiest Pinto Beans

I found this gem on Pinterest last spring and thankfully made these beans several times before the link broke/vanished/slipped the surly bonds of cyberspace. Mangiadasola, thank you so much for this recipe and it deserves to live on, so here it is.

The original recipe was titled "Healthy Refried Beans" and gave instructions for cooking it in a slow cooker or on the stovetop. I have only made it in the slow cooker so those are the instructions here. 

It is one of the simplest recipes I have ever seen but these beans are so delicious! They can be left whole when finished cooking and eaten like that (one certain child at our table loves them so much she eats them out of the serving bowl with her fingers - someone ought to teach her some manners!), added to recipes like chili or mashed to make refried beans like in the original recipe.

Here is my version of the easiest, healthy refried beans.

1 cup pinto beans, rinsed (no soaking required!)
4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)

Place all ingredients in slow cooker. If you have all day, use the low setting. If starting this after lunch, use the high setting. You can't really overcook them but beans that aren't fully cooked just aren't nice. So err on the side of more cooking time than less. I usually start them around 10 am on high and turn the setting to low when they bubble furiously so they are ready around 5-6 pm.

To make them into "refried" beans, scoop out most of the water but reserve some in a bowl. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved cooking water to make the desired consistency. 

This is my newest fave appliance - a hot water pot. Hot water for tea all the time! And so handy when I need boiling water to make beans too. 

 It is really hard to take a good photo of cooked beans, either whole or mashed. So please enjoy the lovely shots of pinto beans accented with red Tupperware and red trim on the Ikea towel!


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