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Dave’s No-Fat/Low-Gas Refried Beans

We’re all used to opening a can when we want refried beans at home — but once you have tasted how delicious this is from scratch you’ll never go back! Full disclosure: I didn’t take a picture of Dave’s beans, but, well, they look pretty much just like this picture from Wikimedia Commons. Of course the look will depend quite a lot on what type of bean you use. However, Dave says he wouldn’t recommend pureeing it like it is shown in the picture. Instead, leave it a little chunky, unless you want to use it for a soup base.


  • Any dried beans — pinto, black, etc.
  • Baking soda (optional
  • Onions to taste
  • Garlic to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Tomato paste (optional)


  1. Remove any rocks and twigs from the dry beans, and rinse the beans thoroughly.
  2. To reduce the bean gas, boil the beans for ten minutes in vigorously boiling water with half a teaspoon of baking soda per cup of dry beans. Discard the water and rinse the beans thoroughly.
  3. Cover the beans again with water and cook over a gentle boil until the beans are squishy soft, adding water as needed to cover the beans. Don’t add salt or anything else while cooking the beans.
  4. When the beans are done, add onions and garlic (sautéed, dry, or powdered), bay leaf, salt, cumin, oregano, nutritional yeast (for that umami flavor), and optionally a bit of tomato paste.
  5. Cook over low heat for ten minutes or until the water reduces to the desired consistency. Remove the bay leaf and squish the beans with a masher or spatula.