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Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Crockpot Refried Beans, Chocolate Cranberry Energy Bites, and Vegan Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

I’m so excited because all of my Freezer Cooking in an Hour recipes tonight were a success. And best of all, they took me right around 45 minutes total to make, complete with interruptions.

I was anxious to try the Chocolate Cranberry Energy Bites — and was really happy with how they turned out.

I substituted sunflower seeds for the coconut and left out the nuts and they turned out deliciously.

The Vegan Banana Oatmeal Pancakes were also very successful. I was rather cynical that they’d actually work — but they turned out beautifully.

They were a bit banana-y, but yummy and hearty.

The Crockpot Refried Beans were so, so easy to make. If they turn out well, this is definitely a winner recipe. I’ll let you know tomorrow morning how they end up turning out.

So all in all, tonight’s quick Freezer Cooking session was a huge success. I love it when that happens!

Freezer Cooking Recipes:

Crockpot Refried Beans
Chocolate Cranberry Energy Bites
Vegan Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Did you bake or cook anything for the freezer this week?

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  • J says:

    I cook all types of beans in my crock pot and we are really happy with the results. Bet you will be also.

  • Tammy W. says:

    I’ve just gotten back into this since the holidays and my hubby’s (admirable) choice to go low-carb on me! That has ruled out a few of my faves. We’d been a bit sugar-happy and not so much doing healthy snacks like energy bites. Last night, I finally made up a batch of energy bites, as well as some 3-ingredient no-bake cookies with chocolate chips, butter, and granola (just made some Tuesday).

    Earlier this week, I baked 5 pounds of chicken. I froze some for quesadillas and then last night, I made your SW wraps and froze most. Today, I diced up some sweet potatoes and froze them in meal-sized portions and then cut up some carrots to try your “carrot fries” recipe tomorrow. I also made 2 batches of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and froze 3 dozen.

    I still have some onions and peppers to chop up and freeze this week, and I’d like to make some cookie dough to freeze, as well.

    I credit the goal-oriented nature of your “4 Weeks to a Better Home” series I’m following this week through Easter! It’s so much easier to get things done when you’re focussed and have organized surroundings!

  • Jenny in UT says:

    Our refried bean recipe is similar, but I let my beans soak in water over night first. After the beans soak all night, then I cook them in my crock-pot all day. I drain them. Then add a big spoon of bacon grease, a few shakes of salt and 1/8 C. milk. I will have try it with cumin next time. Sounds intriguing.

    • I do an overnight soak and then cook the beans all day too. It really works well! It is the only method that seems to get dried beans soft enough for me even at high altitude.

  • Kim says:

    I made four batches homemade noodles; 6 cups cooked, skinned, & deboned chicken hindquarters torn in bite size pieces for casseroles or soups, & 18 cups chicken broth. I cooked 10 turkey burgers the other day to reheat for quick lunches.

    • Kim says:

      I meant to ask. Has anyone tried freezing scones? If so, how well do they freeze & did you just freeze them in zip lock bags?

      • Jenny in UT says:

        I haven’t had much with freezing any type of bread. I can tolerate pancakes and waffles. It just seems like breads just aren’t the same after freezing.

      • Michele says:

        I freeze them before baking. Then I just pull out the number I need in the morning and bake them. It generally only takes about 15 minutes in the am to bake, and then the kids can have a fresh-baked treat to go with their eggs before school in the mornings. I would encourage you to try it if you can find the 15 minutes to bake them in the morning – they are delicious!

        • Kim says:

          Good idea! Do you thaw them before baking?

          • Michele says:

            I don’t thaw them at all- just pull them out of the freezer bag and put them on a cookie sheet. It might add 2-4 minutes to the baking time to do it this way. I do set my oven the night before so it is preheated.

  • Sol says:

    Yay for VEGAN Pancakes! I’ve come across vegan recipes that actually turn out better than the traditional ones. 🙂

  • I made peanut butter chocolate chip energy bites yesterday with my kids, but yours look like they’re healthier than mine! 🙂

  • So proud of your vegan pancakes! Guess I don’t have to do anything to change that one. 🙂 Good work as always.

  • We made these vegan energy bars this week, and they were a HUGE hit! They are so easy that the kids can make them. And it’s fun that they can be shaped and formed in various ways (cookie cutters, bars, discs, etc). Reminded me of something you would enjoy at your house. 🙂

  • Ashley says:

    I make those refried beans all the time and they are so good!

  • Trixie F says:

    Just a heads up, it has been my personal experience (yes, it may or may not have taken me several times to finally get it) that if you put beans in the refrigerator or freezer before they are 100% COMPLETELY cooled to room temp, they sour. It is not pleasant. Trust me. Just let your beans cool for a L-O-N-G time before refrigerating or freezing them. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    For all those cooking beans in a slow cooker, please be aware of this: beans contain Phytohaemagglutinin a toxic agent that is deactivated at boiling temperatures, which may not be reached in a slow cooker. The levels are much higher in kidney beans, but are present in all beans. Here is a link to the FDA information:

    The newer slow cookers reach much higher temperatures than the older models do, but please take this into consideration and stay safe! I would think that if your slow cooker reaches a boil, or if you can take the temperature of the beans with a thermometer and verify that they have reached a safe temperature, then using the slow cooker would be ok…but I am just guessing.

    Yesterday I made pizza sauce for the freezer, chicken tortilla soup and freezer biscuits. The day before I made homemade pizza pockets. By the way, Crystal, I absolutely LOVE your pizza pockets recipe!

  • Lisa-PanaMOM says:

    Yay for a vegan recipe!! Bring on more!!

  • AD says:

    Just so you know, your crockpot refried beans is very similar to one that we use almost every week. My family loves how they taste so much that we often just eat them as a pot of beans and don’t take the liquid out and mash them. So many people we know have asked us for the recipe… I think the secret is the cumin. Hope you all enjoy yours!

  • Shelly says:

    I made some mini corn muffins for the freezer this week. I am hoping to get some pantry cooking done next week with some mixes for the pantry.

    I really like making refried beans in the crockpot. I have a hand blender I received as a gift for Christmas and it works wonderfully to smash/whip them up after cooking. I also reserve a little bean cooking water to add to the beans to get the refried beans to the right consistency.

  • Kristine says:

    I made eight crock pot meals for the freezer yesterday in about an hour. I followed a plan from which had the recipes plus a shopping list. The recipes look great and they were very quick to put together.

  • Kathy says:

    I have made refried beans in the crock pot before with a similar recipe. They are very tasty!

  • Jaclyn says:

    WE LOVE cooking beans in the crock-pot. I have found that I do not like to cook them overnight since the house smells like beans first thing in the morning and, well, that’s just weird. 😉 I cook them all day instead and plan dinner that night with them.

    When cooking pinto beans I like to mash about half and then freeze the other whole beans in jars for burrito bowls. Rice and beans is so cheap, but burrito bowls are yummmmmy!

  • I have been using my crockpot alot more and I have refried beans on my list too! I can’t wait to hear how they turn out… hopefully good!

  • D. Gray says:

    I LOVE your freezer meal posts! I love getting the new ideas, tips, and opinions. It is great! Keep them coming.

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