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Is there something you can use besides salt pork when making refried beans that would be a more healthy alternative? 

Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

Salt pork adds fat and salt and meaty flavor to dishes–it is similar to bacon, but not smoky. You can make refried beans without any salt pork at all, such as in several recipes below–but it is also worth noting that sometimes just using less of an ingredient is an effective way of getting the flavor you want, such as this recipe for Refried Beans from Cooking Light.

Here are some other recipes for refried beans that do not call for salt pork:
Real Simple Refried Beans
Cooking Light Refried Beans
Refried Black Beans
Refried White Beans