Category Archives: slow-cooking

Slow-cooker (not so) Refried Beans

I honestly had no idea the you could make refried beans at home. Or at least I never really thought about it. It’s most likely because I am probably the only person in the world who actually enjoys re-fried beans from a can, Rosarita vegetarian refried beans to be specific (which coincidentally have the exact same ingredient list as the ones not specifically marked vegetarian).

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker (not so) Refried Beans

I pinned a while back a tutorial for cooking dried beans in the slow cooker over at Budget Bytes. As I was reading through it for the garbanzo beans I used in the Butternut Squash Autumn Stew, I noticed a recipe in the side-bar for “not refried beans.” I was intrigued so I clicked the link. I guess you can’t really call these “refried” or even “fried,” because they are cooked in the slow-cooker. But they do taste very like refried beans. In fact, I think they taste better because they aren’t weighed down with a million pounds of lard (actually there is no fat added).

The story actually starts about a month ago. I bought this bag of pinto beans because it was $2.00.

That’s right, that says 4lbs. So I had this bag of beans with not really a clue what I should do with it. And that’s when I discover the not re-fried beans recipe. It was fate. So I measure out the 2 cups of beans required for this recipe and got creative with my storage of the remaining 3 pounds (2 cups of beans equals 1 pounds, in case you were wondering. Now you know).

So, since it’s Food Fun Friday, I will now instruct you in the delicate art and science of slow-cooker beans. Measure out 2 cups of beans (1 pound). Sort and wash the beans, then chop up one medium-sized onion and add it to the slow-cooker.

Then add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1 tsp black pepper.

Next, add the sorted and washed beans along with 6 cups of water and, say it with me now “Set it and forget it.” (Set it: low, forget it: 8 hours or 4-5 hours on high). Return to a heavenly smell and this:

Removed some of the liquid (about 1 1/2 cups) to make it easier to mash the beans. Then using a potato masher start smooshing (this is a technical term) the beans. You could also use a hand mixer.

Smoosh until there are only a few recognizable beans remaining. Then store it all in airtight containers.

The original recipe says that this make about the same amount as 3 cans, but this quantity shouldn’t scare you because it is freezable. It was wonderful in the burrito I had for dinner (There really is no better taste than re-fried beans and melted cheese). It would be a perfect layer in 7-layer dip or by itself with tortilla chips.

Burrito Making 101:

Spread the beans
Sprinkle the cheese
 Broil on lo in the oven for about 10 minutes
Enjoy every bite!
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Just say no . . . to canned beans

It’s Food Fun Friday, and after you read this post you will seriously be kicking yourself that you haven’t been cooking your own beans in the slow cooker all along.

3 Reasons to buy dried beans over canned beans:

    1. Money – You can get three cans worth of beans from a single bag of dried beans. Taking that into consideration it’s cheaper in the long run.
    2. Health – Canned beans have a ton of sodium in them. All that extra salt is unnecessary and unhealthy. Dried beans on the other hand are simply beans, not other ingredients (except the occasional pebble, which you should refrain from eating as a rule of thumb)
    3. Environment – buying in bulk is better for the environment because there is less packaging and therefore less waste.

    Are you convinced yet? If not, perhaps the ease of the process will help… To the tutorial!

    Empty the beans onto a flat surface and remove any bad looking beans, pebbles etc. Pour into a colander and rinse with warm water. Add beans to your slow-cooker.

    For every pound (2 cups) of beans add 6 cups of water.

    Leave to cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. There will still be water in the cooker even when they are done. They should be tender.

    Remove from slow-cooker either by draining in a colander or with a slotted spoon. Store in an airtight container. This makes about three cans of beans, but don’t worry about the quantity, if needed beans are freezable.

    This tutorial applies to all kinds of beans. We don’t discriminate here on Maggie’s Mind Mumbles.

    Keep your eyes peeled for Fall-is-here stew using these chickpeas/garbanzo beans!

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    Questions? Comments? Leave them below.

    Slow-cooker Apple Butter

    In my plum cake post I talked about the plums my grandmother gave me. Well, the same day she gave me a dozen apples. I knew I needed to make something with the apples to use them up before they went bad. Enter: Apple Butter

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

    I started by gathering my supplies: washed apples, bowl for peels, peeler. And found a comfortable place with a nice view: my porch at my outdoor table.

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

    It took about an hour to peel all the apples… (Julia Child never had this kind of problem peeling apples… then again Julia Child probably had an apple peeler)

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

    I turned it into a bit of a game; here’s my longest peel (the whole apple without breaking) I am an apple peeling champ!

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter


    Then I cored and cubed the apples and added them to the crock-pot and gathered the remaining ingredients.

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter
    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

    Next, I added 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon allspice (next time I will probably use less sugar because it turned out very sweet since the apples add their own sweetness).

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter
    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

    Then I left it for 10 hours and checked it.

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

    It was still pretty liquid-y so I gave it a couple (2) more hours until it was mostly all evaporated. I put it all in the blender to blend it smooth.

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

    And poured it into jars… I froze the little one and left the big one in the fridge.

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter


    It tastes wonderful by the spoonful but a few suggestions: added to plain yogurt and mixed with granola, mixed with boiling water for apple cider or spread on toast.

    Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple ButterMaggie's Mind Mumbles//: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

    You can make most fruit butters this way. I’d like to try pumpkin butter this fall.

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    How have you used apple butter? What other fruit butters have you tried?