Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Black Beans

photo by Susan/The Well-Seasoned Cook on flickr

My entire family loves black beans. Even the kids. I crave this nutrition-packed legume and I find it has made an impact in a lot of our home cooking. From Tex Mex Potatoes, to pan-fried black beans served atop a salad, they are a big Green Household Favourite.

But when I came across a recipe for Black Bean Brownies, that's where I had to draw the line. No one messes with my chocolate! Black bean brownies sounded, well, repulsive. In an attempt to replace the evil white flour, these legumes are being asked to party it up in the mixer alongside the chocolate chips.

As revolting as it sounds, how can I turn my back on the idea that my two favourite foods, when intermingled, could form the perfect marriage? So I'll be trying it out this week and I'll fill you in on whether they make the grade or not. If so, I'll post the recipe.

If you've never been one to stop in the canned vegetable aisle long enough to throw a couple cans in your shopping cart, you may want to rethink this next time you're in the store. And here's why:
  • The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry notes Black Beans as an antioxidant Superstar
  • High in fibre, great for lowering cholesterol
  • Prevents blood sugar levels from rising after meals (good for diabetics)
  • High in protein - muscle building power
  • Protects against cancer; even known to reduce the number of pre-cancerous cells
  • Very heart healthy
  • High in folate and magnesium
  • Replenishes iron giving you more energy

FYI, canned black beans are equal in nutrition to those you cook yourself. Throw them in a pot of chili, use as a pizza topping or scatter them on your nachos. I can't leave you empty handed until the brownie experiment so I'll post the Tex Mex Recipe. Enjoy!

photo by arsheffield on flickr

Tex-Mex Potatoes
We usually do this up as a main course but it also serves well as a side dish.

2 cups salsa
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large can of corn niblets
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
*6 baking potatoes: cooked, baked, halved with potato pulp scooped out
Reserved Potato Pulp

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine salsa, beans, corn, cilantro and potato pulp. Season with salt and ground black pepper.

Refill potato skins with potato mixture. Bake for 20 minutes; top with sour cream and cheese if desired.

*to prepare potatoes, place in 350 degree preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Slice off the tops and scoop out potato pulp.


  1. me too Laura, wow. sounds yummers
    xoxo i love black beans, and have a full supply in my pantry :D


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