Black Beans ~ March’s SUPER FOOD!
Each month we add a new Superfood to our diet. A Superfood is a food with tons of health benefits that we should all try to integrate into our meals. Some will be new foods and some will be foods you have eaten but if we focus on adding these Superfoods to help super charge our meals we will end up at the end of the year with not only twelve new foods but tips on how to buy, wash, store as well as fun recipes to try.
Adding Superfoods is fun and educational for you as well as your entire family! The information I provide is from my own experience and research I have done over the years. Please always follow your Dr’s recommendations on any dietary restrictions or allergies you may have.
So March’s Superfood is Black Beans! You may not know a lot about black beans because the white Cannellini and red Kidney Beans are more common in recipes but black beans are a wonderful addition to our meals!
Benefit – Among all groups of food, no group has a more health supportive mix of protein + fiber than legumes. Among those at the top of the list for health benefits are black beans. From a single, one-cup serving of black beans you get nearly half of the days recommended fiber and one third of the daily recommended protein. Including them in your meals gives health benefits for the digestive tract, the blood sugar regulatory system, and the cardiovascular system. Recent research shows a link between bean intake to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, many types of cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer.
Black beans are also a source of iron to boost your immune system. Adding a source of Vitamin C along with the beans allows the iron in the beans which is a nonhemme form, less absorbable, to be converted to a hemme form which is easier for your intestines to absorb the nutrients from. So adding Vitamin C at the same meal, from sources like bell peppers or oranges will Supercharge them.
Servings- 3 cups of cooked legumes per week, or 1/2 cup serving six days per week, as the minimum desired amount.
How to Buy – Black beans are available both dried and canned. Dried beans are available in prepackaged containers as well as in bulk bins. Whether purchasing black beans in bulk or in packaged containers, make certain that the beans are whole and not cracked.
Canned black beans can be found in the supermarket. Canned vegetables can lose much of their nutritional value, but with black beans there is very little difference in the nutritional value of canned verses those you cook yourself. One concern I have about canned foods is the potential for cans to be lined with a resin-based material that includes bisphenol A (BPA). To limit this exposure choose frozen vegetables or fresh as often as possible. In the case of dried black beans, they do require a long time to soak and cook. Therefore, if enjoying canned beans is more convenient for you, by all means go ahead and enjoy them.
Please check the package for soaking and cooking times for the brand you purchase.
How to store and freeze – Cooked black beans will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about three days if placed in a covered container.
How to use in recipes – If using canned simply rinse and drain before adding to dishes. They are cooked and ready to consume.
Caution – Black beans contain purines. Excessive amounts of black beans may cause people susceptible to purine related health problems such as kidney stones and gout to become worse. If you know you have purine related issues please consult your physicial before adding black beans to your meals on a regular basis.
FYI - I know your thinking “beans, beans the musical fruit” but soaking the beans before cooking if using dried or eating the canned beans that have been cooked reduces the flatulence related substances by up to 30%.
Why you should listen to me! - Well it has taken me years to figure this all out and maybe what I have learned can help you. Many of you know that I will be releasing my Simply Healthy Meal Planning – I plan meals once a month and do the shopping once a month except for a weekly trip around the exterior of the store for fresh fruits, vegetables and milk. Planning allows me to save time, since I only have to cook about three times a week while having healthy home cooked meals every night, I save money, because I plan ahead I only buy what we will eat and less trips to the store means less impulse buying and most importantly I can be comfortable with the choices I make nutritionally for myself and my family. I am neither a health nut or a vegetarian. I make cookies and muffins each week and a dessert on Sundays, I love to cook and bake and I especially love to eat what I make. I have never had a prescription medication and rarely get colds. So there is a way to have it all and I will share with you a few of my Black Bean Super Food Recipes right now so you can start adding in some Super Foods to your meals too!
Here are some of the ways I include black beans into my everyday meals:
Add them on top of a baked potato, add to your chili, throw some in your taco or add to your favorite salsa or add to tomato soup or any soup for that matter and all your rice dishes and even scrambled eggs.
Now some of my favorite recipes:
Black Bean and Chicken Salad
- 2Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon garlic (in a jar) or 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 – 15 ounce can of black beans- rinsed and drained
- 1 8 ounce can corn
- 12 grape tomatoes cut in half
- Lettuce – iceberg, bibb, romaine or mixture
- 3 cups of cooked shredded chicken
Combine and toss with dressing! Yummy!
Black Bean Soup
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 Tablespoons garlic, chopped in a jar or 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 @red and green bell pepper, seeded, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 6 cups of broth, chicken, beef or vegetable
- 4 15 ounce cans black beans rinsed and drained
- Sour cream, cilantro and taco chips for garnish
Cook onion, garlic, peppers, carrots and celery in oil until softened. Add remaining ingredients bringing to a boil and reduce simmering on low until cooked through – about 30 minutes.
Add toppings and enjoy!
- 1 pound of ground beef or turkey, browned and drained well and cooled
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups of Fritos or corn chips crushed slightly
- 2 tomatoes cup into small pieces
- 1 onion red, white or green chopped
- 1 15 ounce can black beans – rinsed and drained
- 1 bottle of Italian dressing or homemade Italian dressing
Toss everything but the dressing and then add the dressing to taste.
I love to hear from you all so if you try some of the recipes or want to share your thoughts please comment!
Everything I do is with one purpose ~ to make life beautiful every day. So that you too are inspired to live each moment with love, gratitude and peace in your heart and then share those with the world.
I am blessed to be able to share with you things that make not only my life more beautiful but each of our lives more beautiful
~just simply beautiful!
Joie de Vivre!