• Suzanne

NOT Fried, Refried Beans

Updated: Feb 2, 2020

These refried beans are the base for many of my infant and family recipes. I learned how to make these in the traditional style from Elders in central America which takes time and a lot of oil or lard. My adapted recipe is quick and contains minimal fat. Beans are full of nutrients like fibre, iron and protein. I try to include them at meals a few times a week.



2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped or 2 teaspoons onion powder

1 clove garlic, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 carrot, grated

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (optional)

2 cups canned red kidney beans or black beans or a mixture of both, rinsed well then drained

¾ cup water (use 1/2 cup if using to make baby balls)

Chilli powder, adjust to your taste

Cumin powder, adjust to your taste

(optional) 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves or stalks, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

Ingredients for healthy refried beans
I like to use chopped cilantro stalks in this recipe


1. Heat the oil in a medium size pot. Fry the onion and the carrot until softened. If using onion powder, add at step 2.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the lemon juice. Bring up to a boil stirring often.

Variety of canned beans used to make healthy refried beans
Mixture of red kidney beans and black turtle beans

3. After about 10 minutes, blend the beans with a hand blender mash by hand with a potato masher.

4. Let cook for another few minutes. The mashed beans should be thick. If making baby bean balls, keep very thick. Otherwise, add water if too thick to stir.

5. If using lemon juice, stir in now.

6. Taste to adjust seasoning to your taste.

Vitamin C is heat sensitive. Adding lemon juice right at the end adds Vitamin C which helps absorb the iron from the beans.

You can always find a batch of these in my freezer. I fill up a a sandwich baggy, then pat flat for easy stacking in the freezer.

Refried beans can be used as a dip or served with a spoon or in a quesadilla

Have an infant or toddler? Check out this Baby Bean Ball recipe. I like to make these balls for my toddler to play with like play doh.

healthy baby bean balls as part of a healthy meal

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