My boys are pretty good eaters. And by that I mean they eat all the time! Especially my oldest. He will sit down with a brand new bag of baby carrots while he’s working on homework, and polish off the whole thing! He must be going through his seven year growth spurt. It’s really hard to get him to the point where he feels full. I can’t imagine what my grocery cart will look like when I have THREE teenage boys in the house!
I love having some go-to ideas for healthy, protein filled, after school snacks. As much as my boys eat, it would be really easy to rely on heavily processed frozen snacks, but I really don’t want to get them into that habit. These Healthy Crockpot Refried Beans aren’t what I think of as a typical snack food, but they are perfect because I can make a batch at the beginning of the week and then keep it in the fridge to make a quick bean burrito or a bean and cheese quesadilla. We also like them topped with queso fresco as a dip for tortilla chips.
I love that they are packed with protein and fiber, they are quick to prepare, and they keep my boy’s belly full for at least an hour. This recipe is also great because it literally takes 3 minutes to fill the crockpot with the beans, water, onion and spices. Then you just let it boil away in the crockpot all day long. When it’s done cooking, you can decide how chunky or smooth you want your beans. I like to use my immersion blender to make them super smooth. Technically, these are not really “refried” beans because they are only cooked once in the crockpot. There is no added fat in the recipe, and I was surprised that I didn’t even miss it!
My sister-in-law, who eats super clean, shared this recipe with me, and she found it on 100 Days of Real Food. I adapted a few of the ingredients according to my family’s preferences. Such a good one to have in your back pocket, whether you use it as a snack staple or as a side dish to your favorite enchiladas.
- 2 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 onion, peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Lawry's seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- dash of liquid smoke (optional)
- Rinse pinto beans, and place them in the crockpot with water, onion half, garlic powder, seasoned salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, and liquid smoke. Cook on HIGH for 8 hours.
- After eight hours, discard the onion and drain most of the excess water but reserve. Use a potato masher, or immersion blender to achieve desired consistency. Add back reserved liquid when blending as needed. I used my immersion blender to make my beans smooth, and on the thinner side. Remember that the beans will thicken up a bit as they cool.
- Taste the beans for seasoning, and add additional salt and pepper according to your taste.