Packing food for the trail that contains fat is a recipe for disaster, because fats go rancid quickly. Even an oxygen absorber will not prevent it. My son Andy and I experimented for days, making refried beans that have no added fat, but still have an authentic Mexican taste. We use a ton of spices (thank you Emeril for that!) but it makes a huge difference in the taste. These beans only need to be re-hydrated with water for a bean recipe you can use for burritos, dip, or to thicken soups and stews. Hint: Only use 1 tbsp dry bean powder to thicken a soup. It takes a lot of preparation to make, but the recipe is worth it. When portioning, use scant portions because 1/4 cup of dried powder makes a full adult serving. The bean packets weigh next to nothing, but sure provide a hearty meal. Here is the recipe:
A&L’s Dehydrated Refried Bean Powder
For Long-term Food Storage or hiking
Large bag of pinto beans (very large)
2 very large onions, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. coarse black pepper or more
4 tbsp. Light Grey Celtic Salt
2 tbsp. savory or more
1 cup Julio’s Seasoning or MORE. Taste after blending
Sort and wash beans. Soak for 4 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse. Divide the beans into two bowls.
In a pressure cooker, cook the first portion of beans, filling the cooker to the fill line with water. Do not add any spices at this point. Turning the burner on high, wait until steam is released and the knob is rocking before you turn the heat down to 5. Once the heat is turned down to 5, cook the beans for 60 minutes. At the end of cooking time, release the pressure immediately by putting the pressure cooker in a sink of cold water and run water over the lid. Cook the second batch of beans.
While the second batch of beans is cooking, blend the beans and all their juices to make a paste. Add the spices, except for the pepper to one blender of beans and mix thoroughly. Add blended beans to a large stockpot and stir to incorporate all the spices into the beans. Sprinkle the pepper on top and stir in. In a skillet with 1 cup of water, cook onions until translucent.
When the second batch of beans is pressure-cooked, blend them and add to the mix. In one blender batch, pour all the onion and blend it in well. Stir all the blended beans together, mixing very well. Taste for seasoning.
On dehydrator Teflex sheets, spread 3 cups mixture on each sheet, smoothing. Dehydrate on high until crumbly. Dehydrate all the beans and then using a food processor or a Ninja, powder the beans**.
Seal the bean powder in serving-size bags. For each person ¼ bean powder reconstituted with ½ cup hot water is a serving.
After rehydrating, you can heat the beans in a skillet, and pour melted Velveeta over for a bean dip.
**It is very important to blend the dried bean mixture to a powder so it will rehydrate properly.
On the Trail: Top this refried bean mixture with Honeyville Cheddar Cheese shreds and a little picante. Delicious! Take 2 tbsp of Masa Trigo and you have a burrito.