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Slow Cooker (Crockpot) Refried Beans

Mexican food is one of my top 5 favorite cuisines. Sadly, with the little man's nut allergies, our days of eating out at Mexican restaurants are over. It may be a good thing since I could eat my weight at Mexican restaurants with all those tempting foods, including refried beans!

When I stumbled across this slow cooker refried beans recipe, I had to give it a try. I used dried pinto beans since I could not find canned pinto beans at my store. It worked out well since dried beans are a fraction of the price of canned beans!

I made a few changes to the recipe including soaking the pinto beans overnight and reducing the water required. I also added more garlic than called for in the recipe.

This delicious refried beans is amazing in 5 layer dip, burritos or as a side dish. Since this batch makes many servings, you can freeze the leftover refried beans for use later. Hmmm...I'm predicting this won't last long in our household.

The recipe below has been halved from the original recipe. I have a 5 quart slow cooker and making the full recipe resulted in an overfilled slow cooker, which led to increased cooking times.

1 lb dry pinto beans
1/2 large onion, chopped
2-1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
1-1/4 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin* (for those with a peanut allergy, read this article by Allergic Living on the latest cumin recall)
4 cups cold water

Night Before
1. Soak the pinto beans with 5 cups of cold water overnight or at least 8 hours.

The Next Day
2. Pick out any bad beans. Drain and rinse under running water.

3. In a slow cooker or crockpot, add pre-soaked pinto beans, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and 4 cups of cold water.

4. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or high for 2 to 4 hours until the beans are easily mashed with a fork.

5. Remove the beans from the slow cooker. Do not discard the liquid.

6. Mash beans with a potato masher if you prefer chunkier refried beans or puree in a food processor for smoother refried beans. Add more liquid until it reaches the desired consistency. Freeze unused refried beans in 2 cup portions.

Source: Adapted from Pennies & Pancakes

* Author's Note: The cumin we use has been in our cupboards since early last year and eaten without issue by our peanut and almond allergic little man. In the wake of the cumin recall, I have taken a proactive measure to eat more whole foods and calling companies who list "spices" and "flavors" to ask if they use cumin. For my readers in the U.S. there have been a growing number of recalls and "so far" there is only one recall in Canada. Stay up to date with recalls by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency).

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