Okay, so we are now well aware that we should no longer be eating our beans from a can because they contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) in the lining, which is proven to be harmful to our health (especially for young children, pregnant and nursing moms, and anyone with a chronic illness). This makes chili, or a quesadilla with beans, require much more thought and preparation. NOT THE CASE! We have a dynamite refried beans recipe that will take you no more than 10 minutes to prep and then you can throw it in a slow-cooker and let it take care of itself. I use this recipe all of the time to take the standard “Emergency! I-have-no-food-in-my-house quesadilla” to an entirely new and healthy level, not to mention they are organic and non-GMO. Make these beans, freeze half (they freeze very well), and have them on hand for those “emergency situations.” I have them simmering in the slow cooker now filling the house with the aroma of onion, garlic, and cumin. Delicious. Throw these on a quesadilla with organic cheddar cheese, your choice of greens (I like making these with baby arugula or kale) and add some salsa and freshly sliced avocado on top (if it’s also for adults, you can add some cilantro and lemon). I also use non-GMO verified, organic, whole wheat tortillas from Whole Foods (80% of processed foods, including most tortillas contain genetically modified ingredients). Voila. Protein (check), carb (check), healthy fat (check), vegetable (salsa with fresh tomatoes and avocado – check)! And you can feel rest assured that there is no BPA, no GMOs, no pesticides, no hormones, and no harmful additives for your children. Fresh, homemade, easy, and delicious. 

Ingredients (*please use organic when possible*):

1 onion, peeled and halved

3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed (you can find in the bulk food section)

1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (leave this out when making for your toddler as it will be too spicy)

2  tablespoons minced garlic

5 teaspoons salt (I use a little less salt)

1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, optional

9 cups water (I use only 8 cups of water)


1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeño (skip if cooking for kids), garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during the cooking, then the temperature is too high.

2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.


Source: Allrecipes.com