Do you not use dry beans as often as you intend to because they take so long to cook?  I used to have a designated "bean day" once a week, but fell off the wagon a while ago.  Here's the answer...

There are ways to speed  up how fast they cook.  If you have a pressure cooker, it can take as little as 30 minutes to cook the beans. 

If you have a grain mill (or even a blender), it can be even faster

Make bean flour with your mill; it cooks in only 5 minutes of simmering.
If you use your blender, put 1-2 cups of beans in the blender jar; run on high speed until powdered.  Pour the powder through a fine-mesh sieve to catch any bigger pieces; those can take a half hour to cook.

Cooked bean flour has the texture of very smooth refried beans.  They can be thinned with water, milk, or evaporated milk to the consistency of white sauce or cream soups.  White beans are recommended for these uses, though, just because you want it to look 'normal'.  Add seasonings to taste, and you can have nearly instant soup!
If you make them regular refried bean consistency, unseasoned beans can even be substituted for at least half the fat in baked foods.  You might be able to substitute them for all the fat, but try half first.  Then work up.  For that, use the recipe for 5-minute Refried Beans, below, but only use water and bean flour, not the  spices or salt.

Store extra bean flour in a tightly covered container, to keep out pests.  Its expected shelf life is 6 months; you can extend that by keeping it dark and cool, or freezing it.  It can last longer on the shelf than 6 months, as well- smell it to see if it has gone rancid.  If it smells and tastes fine, it still should be.

5-minute Refried Beans

2 ½ c. water
½ - ¾ tsp. salt
Pinch garlic powder, opt
¾ c. pinto or black bean flour
¼ tsp. cumin
½ -1 tsp. chili powder

Heat water to boil, whisk in dry ingredients.  Cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute, until thick.  Reduce to low, cover and cook 4 minutes.  This will thicken as it cools.  Add ½ c. salsa if you want.  My family likes it best with cubed Cheddar or Mozzarella mixed in; I use 1/2- 1 c. cheese in about 1/4" cubes.

“Instant” Refried Bean Mix

1 ½ c. pinto or black bean flour
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. cumin
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried onion

Mix and store airtight.

Whisk ¾ c. of this mixture into 2 ½ c. boiling water.  Cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute, until thick.  Reduce to low, cover and cook 4 minutes.  This will thicken as it cools.  Add ½ c. salsa if you like.

3-Minute “Cream of Chicken Soup”

3 c. boiling water
1/2 c. fine white bean flour
1 T. chicken bouillon granules
1/2 c. diced chicken, optional
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning or sage, optional

Whisk together water, flour, & bouillon over medium heat, stir and cook 3 minutes.  Blend 1-2 minutes.  Add chicken.

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Heather Ingalls
10/04/2011 05:53

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I have always wanted to know how to make this. We got a grain mill and I am going to try it. What an economical way to have refried beans. :) Also, how long will it store after you grind it? And how do you store the beans once they are ground?

10/05/2011 14:10


You're welcome! I'm excited that you got a mill!

I've added the how-to-store information into the blog post.


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