Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Mushy Beans" In The Crockpot

I discovered Red Beans a few years ago when I bought them for a recipe.  I discovered a little piece of heaven on that day.  I used to buy kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, great northern beans.  But none of them compare to my favorite red beans.  I love them so much that I even bought a 25 lb bag of them this summer.  

Accordingly, we go through a lot of beans in my house.  I used to buy cans of beans, lots of them.  Everyone in my family likes them.  But I always thought that I needed to learn how to turn dry beans into something edible and delicious.  I tried soaking them both the short way (boiling them and then letting them sit) and the long way (soaking them in water overnight) and then cooking them on the stove.  I was never really happy with the results.  Maybe I was too impatient and didn't let them cook long enough, maybe I didn't use enough water, who knows except that they never turned out that well.

Until the day I came across a website that told me how to make beans in the crockpot.  It's so easy.  While the recipe says to soak them, I've tried it both ways and find they cook better without it.  I just throw the beans into the crockpot, sprinkle them with salt, garlic powder, onion powder and turmeric, cover them with water to within an inch of the top, and cook them on high for 5-6 hours.  Delicious, perfect beans every time.  

But then over the summer my kids tried refried beans (which they call mushy beans) when Hubby made dinner using them .  While they still like regular red beans, they now beg for mushy beans whenever we eat Mexican food.  So once again I have been buying canned beans.  

Then a few weeks ago I came across another website that told me how to make refried beans in the crockpot.  Basically, I do the same thing as I have been doing, only cook them a little longer and reserve the cooking water to mix in with the smashed beans until they are the right consistency.  Of course I had to try it.  

Today I made mushy red beans for the first time.  I followed my same recipe for regular beans and then took some of the beans and mashed them with a little bean water, added some salt, and now I have yummy refried beans for dinner tonight.  Cheap, easy, chemical free, no fat added, and yummy.  

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