- Flavor has been compared to that of mushrooms
- Velvety texture
- Provide support to digestive tract, particularly the colon
- Good source of phytonutrients
- Excellent source of molybdenum, folate, dietary fiber and tryptophan
- Decrease risk of colon cancer
- Protein and fiber content support blood sugar balance and regulation
- Soaking black beans in water reduces some of the flatulence containing substances in the beans
- Decrease blood cholesterol
- Insoluble fiber decreases risk of heart attacks and coronary heart disease
How to Select and Store
- Make sure that there is no evidence of moisture or insect damage and that they are whole and not cracked
- When purchasing in bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the black beans are covered and that the store has a good product turnover to ensure the beans’ maximal freshness
- There is little difference in the nutritional value of canned black beans and those you cook yourself, although you have to beware of cans lined with BPA
How to Prepare
- Before washing black beans, spread them out on a light colored plate or cooking surface to check for, and remove, small stones, debris or damaged beans
- Then place the beans in a strainer, rinsing them thoroughly under cool running water.
- To shorten their cooking time and make them easier to digest, black beans should be presoaked (presoaking has been found to reduce raffinose- and stachyose-type oligosaccharides, sugars associated with causing flatulence.) There are two basic methods for presoaking. For each you should start by placing the beans in a saucepan and adding two to three cups of water per cup of beans.
- The first method is to boil the beans for two minutes, take the pan off the heat, cover and allow to stand for two hours.
- The alternative method is to simply soak the beans in water for eight hours or overnight, placing the pan in the refrigerator so that the beans will not ferment.
- Before cooking the beans, regardless of method, drain the soaking liquid and rinse the beans with clean water
How to Cook
- To cook the beans, you can either cook them on the stovetop or use a pressure cooker
- For the stovetop method, add three cups of fresh water or broth for each cup of dried beans. The liquid should be about one to two inches above the top of the beans. Bring the beans to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, partially covering the pot. If any foam develops, you can skim it off during the simmering process. Black beans generally take about one and one-half hours to become tender using this method.
- They can also be cooked in a pressure cooker where they take about one-half hour to prepare
All content courtesy of whfoods.org