Originally Posted by ficbot
1) I love this bean dip the store has. It is refried beans, guacamole, hit sauce and soy cream cheese. Yummy! I want to make refried beans at home. Is it just cans beans, pureed? Or do I have to do something to them first?
You can certainly just mash up cooked pinto beans. (I do them like I would mashed potatoes, rather than in a blender or food processor.) However, I can't resist the urge to make them a little more flavorful by browning onion and garlic in oil or cooking spray, then adding the beans and maybe a bit of green chile or chile powder.
2) I love hummus but it is expensive to buy/ What has stopped me from making it from canned chickpeas is the quantity. One can makes too much as I am a single person. I was hoping to use my new slow cooker to cook dry chickpeas in smaller amounts, to make hummus with. But I have no idea how to do this?
Soak overnight, simmer for several hours (or all day on low in the crockpot). I love to make my own hummus because I can use fresh spices (cumin seeds toasted myself, fresh roasted garlic - yummm.)
3) I am a bit scared of cooking dry beans, actually. I have used lentils in soup and really like them. But other beans, I am just really nervous about cooking them from dry, I am worried it is too complicated or the beans will not be soft. Can I use the slow cooker for this too? What is the easiest way to cook dry beans with a minimum of fuss? Can I cook dry beans and freeze them to use in soups and stir-fries, or will freezing ruin them?
They are easy and pretty trouble-free, although you do need to plan ahead and set them to soak the night before. In a crockpot or slow cooker, just let them simmer all day. On the stovetop, it will be 1-4 hours, depending on the type of bean, and you need to be around to check that they don't boild dry.
Freezing won't ruin them, but they will be nicer without being frozen first.