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Oh, what exactly is a refried bean?
I’m still not sure exactly. I know it should include some fat, some frying, and some re-frying. However, my refried beans of choice usually involve only:
1) opening a can
2) microwaving can’s contents
1) cooking beans
2) spicing beans
3) pureeing beans
4) sauteeing beans
Between the former and latter, I’d hazard to guess that most of you know the healthier option (though of recent I’ve discovered the peculiar pleasure of scooping out molded, gelatinous, half-puree’d goodness that is a can of Rosarita’s).
But did you know that buying and cooking your own beans is phenomenally cheaper, too? Consider:
Average cost for a can of cooked beans: $1.19.
Average content of a can of cooked beans: 2 cups.
Average cost for a pound of dried beans: $1.99.
A pound of dried beans produces on average 8 cups of cooked beans. (source)
Let’s get cooking!
This time around I used red Azuki beans, because they’re quite healthy and low-cal. They do take a LONG time though–over an hour. Chop some onion and assemble your spice brigade in the meantime. Or watch “Twin Peaks”. This is the part where learning patience proves very, very handy. Also planning ahead.
my secret weapon
bean storage: repurposed yogurt containers
When the beans are cooked and cooled a bit, I stick them in a blender or cuisinart with some fresh onion and spices.
The best part is, “refried beans” are not only good for burritos and fajitas. Try using yours as
-main course (just add a bit of feta cheese and some rice)
The (other) best part is there are under 300 calories in a CUP of cooked azuki beans. And that’s a heckuva lot of beans.
read more on buying canned versus dry beans here.