Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Basic Black Beans

Black Beans belong to the superfood family of legumes; they are a treat typically served as part of meals in Mexican, Central & South American, and other cuisines. It is quite simple to make and costs just pennies. Similar to most beans, black beans have negligible amounts of fat. They are a good source of protein, fiber, and thiamin. Black beans also contain good amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, manganese and folate.

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect food than beans. One cooked cupful can provide as much as 17 g fiber, which is something most people do not get in their diet. They are loaded with protein and dozens of key nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many cancers. The latest dietary guidelines from World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research recommend that we make whole grains, vegetables, fruit and beans the major part of the diet to prevent cancer as well as other diseases. So do stock your cupboards with delicious and diverse vareities of beans: pintos, mung, black, white, kidney, lentils, and numerous other ones. Use them in soups, stews, casseroles, salads, as topings for baked potatoes, and for sandwich spreads and snacks.

Served with a bit of salsa and some warm corn tortillas, BBB makes a lovely and hearty meal. Besides being wonderful served simply, basic black beans are delicious in Black beans With Corn and Cheese, as fillings in pupusas and burritos, and topping for tostadas. The beauty of beans is that they freeze well also. Freeze completely cooled beans in freezer containers for up to 2 or 3 months.

12 servings

Each serving (without the cheese) contains about 110 calories; 7 g Protein; .5 g Fat, 20 g Carbohydrates and 5 g Dietary Fiber.


2 cups Black Beans
2 whole dry hot Red or Green Chilies
1 sprig Oregano (optional)
1 clove Garlic (optional)
1 tsp Sea Salt
Your favorite vegan cheese, to serve (optional)


Sort the beans for debris; rinse well and soak in plenty of water to cover for a few hours. Soaking is not a prerequisite - soaked beans cook quicker than unsoaked beans.

Drain the soaked beans and place in a large pot with the chilies and the optional ingredients. Add water to cover them; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered until very soft. Remove and discard the chilies and oregano stem.

Alternately, pressure cook the beans, usually they are done in about 20 minutes using a pressure cooker!

Mash the beans with a potato masher and stir in the salt.

Serve hot with a sprinkle of the cheese if desired.

Buen Provecho!!

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