Vegetarian Refried Pinto Beans From Scratch | Omega

Yes, you can open a can of refried beans in a few seconds. But if you have a little more time, you can also make your own creamy, easy-to-digest, vegetarian version by starting with organic, dry beans. Here’s how. 

 

Nutrition fact: One cup of pinto beans contains 16 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber, which is a great combination to help you feel satiated for hours after your meal. However, many people find it hard to digest beans. What to do?

There are several techniques you can use throughout the cooking process to make pinto beans easier to enjoy, including soaking them and adding vinegar and a sea vegetable to your cooking pot. 

Servings
6-8

Ingredients

2 cups of dried organic pinto beans
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 strip of dried kombu (kelp) (found in natural grocery store, Asian market, or online)
6 cups water or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice (about ½ medium lime)
Garnish with shredded cheese. 

Directions

Start with a Soak: Add pinto beans to a large pot and cover with water (a few inches above the beans, as they will expand). Check on your beans an hour or so after first soaking and add more water if they need it. Soak overnight uncovered at room temperature (or for at least 6 hours). The soaking helps digestibility of the beans, and the longer they soak, the easier they will be to digest. Once beans are soaked, drain and set aside. If you are short on time, you can boil dry beans and water on medium high for 10 minutes to help them plump up and cook faster.

Stovetop: Heat a large soup pot to medium heat, add olive oil and onion, and season with sea salt and black pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is softer and translucent. Then, add garlic, cumin, paprika, and oregano and sauté for another minute to incorporate spices. Next, add soaked and drained pinto beans to the pot with bay leaves and kombu. Cover beans with 6 cups of water or vegetable broth, add vinegar, and cook on high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Once beans are soft, remove bay leaves and kombu, then use a potato masher (or a similar tool) to mash beans to your desired texture. Add cilantro and lime juice just before serving, along with more salt and pepper (if desired) for taste.

Instant Pot: Set the Instant Pot to "sauté mode," add olive oil and onion, and season with sea salt and black pepper. Sauté for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is softer and translucent. Then, add garlic, cumin, paprika, and oregano and sauté for another minute to incorporate spices. Add soaked and drained pinto beans to Instant Pot, pour 6 cups of water or vegetable broth, and add vinegar, bay leaves, and kombu. Switch from "sauté mode" to cook on "high pressure" for 30 minutes with top on, then allow for a 10-minute "natural release." Once beans are soft, remove bay leaves and kombu, then use a potato masher (or a similar tool) to mash beans to your desired texture. Add cilantro and lime juice just before serving, along with more salt and pepper (if desired) for taste.

Serve

Enjoy vegetarian refried pinto beans as part of tacos, burritos, nachos, or on top of rice with salsa or hot sauce. Garnish with shredded cheese (optional).

© 2020 Suzanne Boothby. Used with permission.

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