Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review of Dehydrated Refried Beans

I've used the Provident Pantry Dehydrated Refried Beans I got from Emergency Essentials several times now.

I was not really impressed the first time I tried them. I simply re-hydrated them to use as a dip for tortilla chips, as I often do with canned refried beans. But the flavor was stronger then the canned beans I usually eat. And I didn't like the texture. It seemed like maybe there were a lot of tough bean skins in them.

But after I tried them a few more times I realized that those "tough bean skins" were not actually bean skins. They were little chips of the beans that hadn't been re-hydrated properly.

Once I realized this, I realized that I needed to use more water to re-hydrate than the instructions said to use. Now the texture is much better. And now that I've gotten used to the stronger flavor, I like that, too.

What I really like is that I can re-hydrate as much or as little as I want, so I don't waste any.

One of the things I like about eating at Mexican restaurants is that they always include sides of refried beans and Spanish rice with shredded cheese on top. So one night last week I decided to make some at home. I re-hydrated the beans, making sure I did it properly. And I re-hydrated some brown rice I'd dehydrated with a little bit of tomato powder and some salt and seasonings (I think I used Italian seasoning). Then I sprinkled some shredded cheese over the top of the rice and the beans, popped it into the microwave to melt the cheese, and had wonderful Spanish rice and refried beans. Yum!

So...the verdict? Once you learn how to use these beans they are really good.

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