Black Beans for Your Bones (+ a Black Bean Recipe)
Black beans are good for you health in many ways. One important thing they do is help build bones. Here is a little more info on that and a good black bean recipe.
Black beans, as with other dark foods, contain minerals important for our blood, such as iron. Chromium is also said to be rich in dark foods. And we all know legumes have a good amount of protein in them. As a result of these factors, one can get most of the nutrients one needs to grow strong bones and teeth from black beans (as well as some other dark beans). This is especially important for children, of course.
I imagine this is one reason why one of our Facebook fans recently suggested black bean soup as a good mid-week dinner.
If you’ve just arrived home from an ice skating, or a cold soccer game, or simply walking home from a wet and cold night, there is nothing like a hot pot of beans to come home to. It is already getting cold again here in Poland, and we are thinking about cooking some bean soups again soon.
Garlic is a good way to fight of parasites and keep healthy, but garlic can be overused. And in cold places, there are few parasites, so the need to fight them off is less important. Luckily, there are other options to jazz up your black bean soup if you have been using a little too much garlic.
Try some leeks or scallions or both. They are not as intense as garlic and a bit easier for the body to handle.
Black Bean Soup
One good way to cook black beans is to pressure cook them. However, if you do not have a pressure cooker, it is best to soak black beans overnight and then, early in the morning, rinse and drain and prepare the beans to cook. You can also sprout them for a day after soaking them in order to break down the proteins for better assimilation. This is what I always do.
Ideally, it is wonderful to start any soup with fresh, spicy herbs of the season. Leeks, onions, or bright orange turmeric sautéed in some organic butter or oil are nice options. Adding in fresh herbs, if possible, at the beginning and later, at the very end of the cooking, adds some nice, fresh, green aromatics. Poblano peppers are also really good, as they add spice and flavor without the extreme heat of other peppers. I add some salt to the pot prior to cooking as well.
Pressure cook or cook in a revere ware pot or similar style pot to preserve integrity of the food and avoid unwanted leaching.
After cooking, serve in another dish with salt or Spike to taste and green garnishes, and perhaps with chopped peppers. Also, I add the oil after the food has cooled down a bit so as not to disturb the omegas too much.
Serve with a crisp green salad. Add walnuts and a squirt of lime on both the salad and the beans for a nice last touch.
For some other black bean recipes, Rachel Fox wrote about black bean quesadillas and black bean breakfast burritos not long ago, and I’ve written about vegan black bean burgers and black beans with millet in the past. I actually like them plain and simple with just a bit of olive oil and salt from time to time as well. You can also grab some organic refried black beans in a can for a quick meal if you don’t have time to make something up.
Any other tips for this black bean soup recipe above or any other favorite ways to eat black beans?
Photo Credit: Kaptain Kobold via flickr