Black beans, also known as turtle beans, are generally available both dried and canned. Like most common beans they are said to have originated in South America and Central America, becoming a main part of the diet of the Indians in those areas. Today black beans are a main ingredient in Mexican, Cuban and Brazilian menus.
They are very nutritious, health giving and economical. Black beans contain an excellent amount of molybdenum, very good amounts of folate, dietary fibre, manganese, and tryptophan, and good amounts of thiamin, phosphorus,magnesium and iron. A cup of cooked black beans contains 15 grams of protein and is only around 230 calories, an excellent protein meal for Vegans.
The beans have excellent health benefits. They have a low glycemic index which will stabilize blood sugar levels and provide energy. The fibre will reduce cholesterol and prevent constipation. Black beans contain the most antioxidents out of all the types of beans and contain far more per weight than oranges. The iron in the beans will help boost the hemoglobin in the blood especially if they are eaten with vitamin C, like a glass of fresh juice or a freshly sliced tomato salad for example.
When purchasing ready made meals and delicatessen salads, note that many contain sulphites. The molybdenum content in black beans is an aid in detoxifying these sulphites. So adding black bean soup or salad, when purchasing deli food, will be a plus to those who are allergic to sulphites.
Note: Beans contain purines which break down into uric acid. Therefore those with gout or those who sufffer from kidney stones should not eat them in excess. For those that find beans bloat, why not try Vegan digestive enzymes?
When purchasing dried black beans check that there is no insect damage or mould. The dry beans should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark area. They can be stored for up to a year. Canned black beans are also very nutritious but check there that they do not contain additives. Always buy organic beans where possible.
There are many ways to serve black beans. Some you will find below. Enjoy!
Black Bean and Mango Salad
By Jolinda Hackett of Vegetarian at About.com
1 15oz / 425gm can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups mango, diced
1 cup sweet red bell pepper, diced
6 green/Spring onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro (coriander) leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 seeded Jalapeno pepper, minced or hot sauce to taste
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, including beans in bowl. Toss and serve.
Easy Black Bean Soup
From The Cat-Tea Corner™ Recipe Collection (great site to visit if you are Vegan, love cats and/or love tea).
1 onion, chopped
oil for sautéeing
2 garlic cloves, scored
1 cup water
1 can 15oz / 425gm black beans, not drained
1 can 14oz / 397gm diced tomatoes, not drained (plain or seasoned)
1/3 cup white rice (optionally basmati)
salt and ground cayenne pepper to taste
2 cups strong prepared Lapsang Souchong tea (use twice as much tea leaf as usual)
Sauté the onion in the oil in a 2 quart/ 1 litre pot. When it's soft and slightly browned, drop in the garlic and sauté about a minute longer. Pour in the water, beans with liquid, tomatoes with liquid, and the rice. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover. Let it simmer for about 1/2 hour, until the rice is nice and soft. (While it's cooking, make and eat some salad; try lettuce, roasted red peppers, and olives.) Once the soup is finished cooking, season it with salt and cayenne. Stir in the tea. Then pour the soup into a blender -- including the garlic cloves -- and blend until pureed but you can still see flecks of black bean. (We had to do this in two batches to not overload the blender.) Dee-lish with some crusty bread. About 4 servings.
Black Bean Dip with Veggies
From that wonderful website All-Creatures .org
2 cups black beans, cooked or canned
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin, powdered
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. red pepper powder (optional)
Place all the ingredients in a blender and run at "high" until smooth. It may be necessary to stop the blender from time to time, and mix the ingredients with a spoon or spatula to ensure that all the ingredients are thoroughly and uniformly mixed. (The amount of seasoning is often subjective; so, we suggest you taste a little and add additional seasoning if necessary.) When finished, scoop out the bean dip into a bowl and place it in the center of a large platter. Cut the veggies into 2" / 4cm lengths and split as necessary to keep bite sized. We suggest broccoli florets, carrots, cauliflower florets, celery, cucumbers, green and red bell peppers, scallions, etc. Arrange the veggies around the dip on the platter in two piles for each variety of veggie, so that they are opposite each other. This way everyone sitting around the table can reach some of each. Enjoy!
Finger Lickin' Black Beans
From Spark People submitted by IAMTHEAMYGDALA
1 15oz / 425gm can black beans
1 14oz / 397gm can reduced salt sweet corn
1 red bell pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro (coriander) chopped
+/-2 cloves of garlic
Sautee onion and red pepper in olive oil. When almost done, add garlic and sautee until cooked. Add can of black beans, corn, water, vinegar, cilantro, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. When mixture has reduced somewhat (usually 15 to 20 minutes) dinner is served! Servings: 4
Black Bean Brownies
These brownies taste just as good, if not better, than the real thing. It's super easy.
15 oz / 425gm. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 whole bananas
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw sugar (optional)
1/4 cup instant oats (NOT rolled oats)
Preheat oven to 350F/177C. Grease an "8x8" / 20cm x20cm pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor blender and blend until smooth. Stir in oats and pour batter into pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. You will be SO suprised to see how good these taste!