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The Economy Sucks but my Creamy Frijoles Rock

Refried beans, sometimes known as frijoles, get a bad rap nutritionally because they’re often made with lard, then fried in oil. Neither is necessary. This healthy version (note that I even snuck a carrot in and no one noticed) is just as delicious and having a pot of them around is an excellent way to stretch your family food budget in this time of financial uncertainty. Pull out the old crock pot for stress-free, one-pot easy preparation. Turn it on low before you leave for work and come home to the robust, earthy aroma of Old Mexico. What can you do with a pot of frijoles?


  • Dry pinto beans, 1 cup
  • Water
  • Chicken or vegetable broth, enough to generously cover beans (at least 2 cups)
  • Small onion, chopped
  • Garlic, two cloves
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • *optional – if you have a ham hock or other bone around, stick it in for flavor
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried organic oregano
  • salt to taste


  1. Soak pinto beans overnight in enough water to cover beans.
  2. Drain beans and rinse.
  3. Place broth, beans, onion, garlic and carrots in crock pot and slow cook until beans are soft.
  4. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid. Pour beans back in crock pot. Add back a little cooking liquid at a time as you mash beans with potato masher, until desired consistency. Save leftover broth to add later while reheating beans.
  5. Mash in salt, cumin and oregano. Note: do not add salt until end; it slows the softening process.

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