My mind is open, my palette is sated. Vegan cooking has changed my perspective on the food I eat, where it comes from, and how the choices I make affect the environment. Check back weekly for my take on life as a zero waste vegan. Sharing recipes, experiments and other DIY ideas. 

BPA has been used as a liner in consumer products for a while now, but has mostly been removed from drinking containers, such as water bottles. Maybe people don’t realize, though, that BPA still lined all canned food that doesn’t bear the label “BPA Free.” When you have a chance, take a moment to look at the canned food in your cabinet. Chances are more likely than not, that unless you sought BPA free items, everything in your cabinet will be lined with BPA.

But enough with BPA. You are here to learn about making tasty refried beans in three easy steps. If you want to know more about BPA, read on.

Step 1: Buy beans in bulk. Sprouts, Whole Foods and many Farmers Markets carry bulk beans. One cup dried beans yields about three cups cooked, so use that as a metric when deciding how much to buy from the store.

Step 2: Soak beans overnight. Okay, this is the challenge. You need to plan this in advance. One cup raw beans yields about three cups cooked beans, so plan accordingly. You could always make more than you need and freeze the excess until you are ready to eat them.

Step 3: Cook beans. Once soaked, strain beans and discard this water. Add two cups of water to beans and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Turn the heat down to medium/low and let sit a few hours. You can use more or less water depending on how soupy you like them.

Step 3.1 (optional): Blend beans. Some people like them whole. I prefer blended so that they taste like traditional refried beans.

Salt and pepper to taste. I don’t consider this a step, because I typically cook with littler to no salt. I’m a firm believer that you can add it later if you need it, but over-salting ruins meals. 

It really is that simple. Delicious vegan beans that contain no animal products, fillers or preservatives! If you are feeling adventurous, you can always add chopped onion, garlic or peppers for more of a punch.