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instant refried beans
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Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
instant refried beans on 12/09/2009 20:00:26 MST Print View

A bean burrito is one of my favorite trail meals and fortunately, these instant refried beans are indistinguishable from scratch made. Click here for an excellent refried bean recipe (I leave out the queso blanco and substitute olive oil for the animal fat), or use your own. Note the weight of the bean paste then spread the it on freezer paper 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and dry in dehydrator or oven at 150 degrees. Break the dried paste into chunks and powder in a food processor. Weigh the powder to determine how much water to add to each ounce of powder to reconstitute the beans. Bag the powder and put it in the freezer until it's time to go hiking.

Measure enough water for the beans you're going to reconstitute, bring to a boil, add the bean powder and simmer, stirring occasionally. The mixture will start out soupy, but in a few minutes, it will have formed a great tasting bean paste ready for the tortilla. Add cheese and taco sauce or eat it plain.

Edited by herman666 on 12/09/2009 20:06:22 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: instant refried beans on 12/09/2009 20:41:58 MST Print View

I've had good times dehydrating trader joe's organic (and no animal fat) refried black beans with jalepeno from a can. Same deal- I spread them thin on paper, dehydrate, and crush. I just crush it by hand with a rolling pin on a butcher block. A full can only weighs an ounce or two when finished.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Time/effort vs. Cost on 12/09/2009 23:24:25 MST Print View

Not meaning to hijack the thread or argue or anything (honest!), just a different point of view ...

I like dehydrated refried beans on the trail enough that I found it worthwhile buying a case (box) of smaller boxes of this stuff online. I think that at the cost I got it at this was a better option --- for me at least --- than trying to make my own. I've only tried the one brand, based on a recommendation by an experienced fellow, and I like it (Fantastic Foods brand).

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Time/effort vs. Cost on 12/10/2009 08:10:22 MST Print View

FF is a great brand. I wouldn't use them at home but on trail they are quick, easy and healthy.

Lori P
(lori999) - F

Locale: Central Valley
Re: instant refried beans on 12/10/2009 08:46:11 MST Print View

If there's one near you, the Winco dehydrated refried beans aren't half bad... you can buy it by the pound from their bulk aisle.

Charlie Murphy
(baltocharlie) - F

Locale: MAryland
whole vs flake beans on 12/29/2009 09:07:33 MST Print View

Hey folks: I am really getting a lot of info at this forum. I am mostly a bike tourer so keeping things light is just as important for me. A quick question about beans. What is cook time for dehydrated beans vs. dehydrated bean flakes? I use a Jetboil so simmering for any extended time is hard to do. Thanks Charlie

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: whole vs flake beans on 12/29/2009 09:55:45 MST Print View

Beans - 15 to 20 minutes sitting in hot water in a cozy.
Flakes - 5 minutes in the cozy.

Neither need to be simmered.

And a mixture of Flakes + Instant Mashed Potatoes plus a packet of salsa, all on a tortilla, makes a fast, long lasting, killer meal.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: whole vs flake beans on 12/29/2009 10:17:22 MST Print View

And with instant bean flakes you can even use cold water if necessary. They will need to rehydrate for 5 minutes but work.

(I have rehydrated whole cooked beans with cool water but it needs quite a bit longer than with hot water)

Charlie Murphy
(baltocharlie) - F

Locale: MAryland
instant refried beans on 12/29/2009 11:30:47 MST Print View

Thanks Greg and Sarah for you quick responses. Best, Charlie

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: instant refried beans on 12/29/2009 11:48:16 MST Print View

Santa Fe Bean Company brand dehydrated refried beans are far better than Fantastic Foods, imho, both in terms of taste and consistency. This discovery comes after years of eating FF on long hikes, only to find FF beans increasingly out of stock (as in, not stocked) at local supermarkets. I buy the SFBC fat-free variety, then add my own oil.

Charlie - No cook time at all. Just boil 2 c. h20, add flakes, and let steep for a few minutes to thicken. I then add some wedge cheese, olive oil, garlic salt, fresh veggies, and bit of shredded burrito wrap or crumbled tortilla chips. But the SFBC brand tastes surprisingly good all on its own, too. Snacking on the dry flakes (which are actual chunky flakes, not a powder like FF) is even a possibility.

Edited by blister-free on 12/29/2009 13:05:09 MST.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Yum on 12/29/2009 17:52:39 MST Print View


One of the world's perfect foods.

Our local yuppie/hippie food store has several kinds of dehydrated beans for around $3 a pound. They find their way into almost all of my backpacking dinners.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: instant refried beans on 01/04/2010 22:30:23 MST Print View

I found the Rosarita brand whole bean style refried beans at a restaurant supply place. It comes in a 1 lb bag and is actually a combination of flakes and bean halfs/chunks. Rehydrates nicely in about 10-12 min in a cozy.

And don't forget the dehydrated lentil soup available at most bulk food stores...rehydrates even better than the beans, yum!

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"instant refried beans" on 01/04/2010 23:00:01 MST Print View

If you are lucky enough to come across Mexicali Rose brand instant refried beans then snatch up every bag you can get, they are southwest regional out of Anthony, NM near El Paso, TX and is sold locally in the grocers, however I do believe the product can be requested other places nationally. Living in a border town I have endless options for quality fresh refried beans but I pass on the restaurants often for the Mexicali Rose instant beans at home with fresh roasted green chile. I take a bag or two on every backpacking trip and whole wheat tortillas and green chile powder. Done deal.

Robert Alston
Refried Beans on 01/20/2010 12:40:52 MST Print View

Dehydrating your own refried beans from a can is one of the easiest things to do. You don't need to use the ones with fat as I have been using the no fat beans for years.

The pre-made ones are great but there is no difference between those and ones you make yourself so if you are into saving money just do it yourself.

Jamie Yarbrough
(jamie) - F
Dehydrated Beans on 04/19/2011 20:44:41 MDT Print View

We have started a new business called Ready Beans, LLC and are based in Fort Collins, Colorado. We offer fully cooked and dehydrated pinto and black beans. The pinto beans come seasoned with salt, salt & oil, and jalapeno & chili spices. The black beans have salt. You can quickly prepare these with boiling water to create a great refried bean dish. Since they are fully cooked, you can even eat the dry bean flakes as a quick snack or mix in with your trailmix.
We also have a partially cooked and dehydrated unseasoned whole pinto bean. This completely saves the overnight soaking step typical of whole beans. In about twenty minutes you can have whole beans as a side dish. Or you can mix them into another recipe like soup or chili.
Check us out at!
Thank you!

Richard Gless
(rgless) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Chipotle Black Bean Soup/Dip on 04/19/2011 22:23:01 MDT Print View

I haven't ever used any dried bean product for backpacking, but I happened across a dehydrated black bean soup in Lucky's in the San Francisco Bay Area from "The Spice Hunter" out of San Luis Obispo, CA. It makes a very nice bean dip that would be great with some rice and chicken in a burrito. It's probably a bit more expensive than some of the other options as packaged, but it was very good. Just add hot water to the powdered bean mix, stir, and wait 7 minutes.

Edited by rgless on 04/19/2011 22:23:40 MDT.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: instant refried beans on 04/22/2011 12:59:20 MDT Print View

+1 on Santa Fe. Good recipe, but don't forget to bring Dave's insanity sauce.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Re: Re: instant refried beans on 04/22/2011 13:41:54 MDT Print View

I'm going to have to Google "Dave's Insanity Sauce"... sounds hot! :)

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
instant refried beans on 05/12/2011 10:11:12 MDT Print View

Santa Fe Bean Company brand dehydrated refried beans rule and are easy to get at Ralphs /Kroggers and Stater brothers grocery stores for pretty cheap for in 7.75oz bag.
Santa Fe Bean Company also has black beans. I was talking to a CSR at Enertia trail food and they use Santa Fe beans in their bean dinners and food.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Thanks for the info on 05/15/2011 14:10:42 MDT Print View

I printed out this entire thread for the info. After eating a LOT of canned refried beans while working in 1980 as a professional trail builder on the Pacific Crest Trail (north of Palm Springs) I lost my taste for them.

But now you've whetted my appetite so I think I'll give 'em another try using several of the suggested brands.

BTW, any more brands I should try?

Edited by Danepacker on 05/15/2011 14:11:29 MDT.