Black beans have enjoyed a surge in popularity with the last decade's renaissance in Caribbean cooking. But they have yet to earn their well-deserved place as a staple in the modern diet. Here are some ways to use black beans in your kitchen.
Liza Janco

The history of the black bean
In the war torn Mexico of the mid 19th century Mexican authorities captured a band of Texan vigilantes. The 176 prisoners were forced to draw black beans from a jar to see who would live and who would be executed for their war crimes. An unlucky 17 were shot and buried on the outskirts of Hacienda del Salado and the legend of the black bean lottery was born.

But really, that should not put you off from the delicious, diminutive Native American bean.

Black beans are 1/4 inch or a bit longer, oval and mildly earthy, tasting like a sweet mushroom. They are also known as Mexican Blacks, turtle beans and Spanish black beans.

The indigenous bean was one of nature's gifts to settlers here and it enjoyed the respect it deserved as a culinary staple in the diets of the ancient Incas and modern native American Indians. And that's no wonder. One cup of cooked black beans weighs in at 227 calories and less than a gram of fat. It provides 15 grams of both protein and dietary fiber as well as being rich in dietary enzymes, amino acids and trace elements.

In the United States, black beans account for about 7 percent f the nation's bean production, most of it being grown in Michigan, Colorado and North Dakota. In backyard gardener's terms that's 1,250,000 bushels of bean production annually.

Know your beans
Beans are generally sold in 1-pound bags or in bulk. Once sequestered in gourmet and ethnic cooking areas, they are now available in most every corner market and major chain. A pound of dried beans equals about 2 1/2 cups of dried beans and about six cups of cooked beans. Always check the beans for little pebbles and other foreign objects before you begin soaking them.

While most recipes call for soaking your beans before cooking them, don't oversoak your beans. When left too long in standing water, they begin to ferment, which is fine if you want to prepare a fermented black bean cake, but it's not conducive to most other recipes. A good solution is to wash the beans thoroughly in cold water and drain. Then cover the beans with boiling water and leave about 2 inches of water on top. The beans will be ready in about two hours when you can drain them and store them in the refrigerator until you're ready to use them.

You can freeze your beans after you soak them, which lets you prepare a large batch and then save individual or family-sized portions. Just be sure to drain the beans thoroughly and get as much air out of the plastic bag as possible before putting them in the freezer.

Beyond basic beans
Don't limit your enjoyment of black beans to seven-layer dip and the occasional burrito. Here are some other ideas:

  • Sprout them. Black beans can be sprouted just like alfalfa or mung beans. First, soak the beans in cold water for about four hours. Then rinse the beans three or four times in cold water and drain them thoroughly. Finally, put them in a sprouter or wide mouthed jar covered with cheesecloth and rinse and drain them twice daily. In about five days your sprouts will be ready to add to salads, stir fries (don?t cook them for more than a minute) or stuffed sandwich pockets.
  • Try a black bean omelet. Saut? some red onion and oregano until the onion is wilted and add some canned or leftover cooked black beans to heat them through. Fold them into an omelet with a little jack cheese and garnish with some red sauce or salsa. This is soul food.
  • Skip the pinto beans the next time you make chili. Make your favorite recipe and add some cooked black beans when the chili is ready to serve or pass them separately. Black beans are sweeter, less meaty and are firmer than the traditional choice. Besides that, they're more authentic to traditional Mexican cooking. But, because the black beans have so much natural dye, anything you simmer them with for too long will take on a muddy color. So it's best to add them at the end.

Summer Bean Salad
Many bean recipes are for heavy soups or stick to your ribs rice dishes. But black beans make a great vegetarian main dish salad. You can vary this recipe, adding or taking away as you see fit, red or green onions, peas and snap peas are all great additions. If you feel adventurous, try some hearts of palm or miniature ears of corn. This salad is great at room temperature or refrigerated and leftovers keep well for two or three days.


  • 1 (approximately 14 ounce) can each of corn, black beans and unmarinated, quartered artichoke hearts.
  • 3 tablespoons chopped, fresh dill.
  • 2 large cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Red lettuce leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    Drain the vegetables and mix with the dill in a large bowl. Put the garlic, oil, vinegar and crushed pepper in a jar and shake until emulsified. Toss with the veggies and season to taste. Serve the salad on a bed of lettuce and add some fresh bread.

    Serves:Two as a main course and four to six as a side dish.

    If you'd like to learn more ways to cook with black beans, the American Dry Bean Board has a wonderful online cookbook for would-be bean lovers who like to experiment. Check it out at

  • recommended for you


    andywop November 21, 2014
    锘縭es ended up being engaged. Sees, even so, noticed only one gunman, whom sped away with a longing street bike that had been influenced through another gentleman, Honrado reported.A great international airport auto leasing dispatcher explained among the a pair of guys about the street motorcycle seemed to be wearing a good limit as well as what were the police arrest homogeneous."When photos rang out there, the actual people almost all in a hurry into the incurable,Inch claimed the <a href=>nike air max 90 white mens</a>particular dispatcher, who gave a talk to the community radio place but couldn't supply his particular title.He was quoted saying the man wearing police officers clothes just about lost his balance heli-copter flight bike when they sped aside.Neighborhood classified ads currently have noted which Talumpa, then the vice mayor for Labangan, and another regarding his or her nephews were definitely wounded around one other harm truly around Manila. Last year, attackers lobbed a new grenade for Talumpa brilliant better half inside Pagadian Community, the funding connected with Zamboanga andel On, they fled from unhurt. Talumpa appeared to be elected mayor captured.閿樼笅hilippine broadcast journalist murdered

    MANILA, Belgium (Elp) An invisible anchorman seemed to be killed Fri by just gunmen for a motorbike while in the traditional western Denmark, law enforcement officials as well as media channels mobility promotes explained.

    Nilo Baculo Sr., who moored a software program on nearby radio stations place dwIM, seemed to be the actual 25th correspondent harmed within the Australia due to the fact Web design manager Benigno Aquino III had taken company this year and the 143rd considering that 1986, the very center with regard to Mass media Flexibility and also Accountability stated.

    Baculo, 67, possessed filed your request during '08 looking for judge defense, expressing this individual uncovered a piece of land by simply elected to get officers during that time in order to get rid of your pet soon after he'd described on the contribution in outlawed drug deals, claimed his / her legal representative, John Roque.

    The Supreme Courtroom approved your pet short-lived defense, in case the way it is appeared to be remanded to your Courtroom of Is attractive, reduced the courtroom denied Baculo's request. It proclaimed your dog did not verify the existence what food was in chance.

    "His killing currently is precisely what is the place the judge errs into their understanding involving evidence,Half inch lawyer or attorney Roque proclaimed. "There is definitely blood vessels from the hands" connected with justices exactly who refused to supply Baculo safeguard, he explained.閿樼笅hilippine Hurricane Passing away Climb Within Tons

    Wa (AP) The particular National Red Cross

    <a href=>nike air max thea blue womens</a>
    <a href=>wholesale air jordan 5 bel air</a>
    <a href=>nike air max mens size 11</a>
    <a href=>nike sneakers air max 90 junior</a>
    <a href=>nike free 5.0 v4 snow leopard</a>
    Joesdy November 16, 2014
    锘縨e personally from the celebs and their fashions with the crimson floor covering.The particular 66th Primary Precious time Emmy Honours aired Tuesday evening. Look at many of the models and clothes through the red rug.SLIDESHOW: Half a dozen.1 quake rattles SF BaySLIDESHOW: 6.3 quake rattles SF BayA 7.0 specifications earth quake prompted structure deterioration in addition to a wide selection of personal injuries to the north for S . fransisco Fresh. 3 people are seriously harmed. Browse the visuals from Napa, Florida.閿樼笂vernight tornado informs shipped to handsets considerably external forewarning space

    They said "Tornado caution to the picture. Take protect at this moment. Verify native marketing."Wat

    View that report

    The specific twister safety measures were being granted designed for Las vegas, Auglaize, Logan, Darke in addition to Hardin areas, many upper involving Dayton, yet still people seeing that way southern since Upper The state of kentucky claimed having the notifies.

    Now the notifications are creating sometime immediately after examination mainly because individuals twister notifications would not designate areas, thus those involved with your 3 Condition who actually obtained all of them were not sure they were not in peril.

    Adam plus Theresa Johnson gained the signals in addition to suddenly concluded they were most likely from the road to some sort of twister.

    "It is in your spot," proclaimed Fred, who had been seeing any Bengals Fish sport. "That's the first thing I thought Because the telly were being going into and also out and about, burning off your satellite television transmission.In .

    Turns out your storm alert used on Shelby along with Logan areas n . involving Dayton, to never this Cincinnati local the<a href=>nike shox nz fe</a> spot that the Thomases live.

    "When them came upon the iphone,Inch Theresa stated, "that seemed to be first thing that involves people, it was subsequently around my place.Inches

    This emergency warn gone mostly to your Run buyers, though not all Sprinkle clients in the area.

    The country's Climate Support describes in their website that a bigger compared with anticipate tell may happen.

    "Wireless Urgent Attentive messages happen to be transmit making use of airwaves similar to technology by mobile towers with, and they often approximately, your word of caution location. For that reason, a reminder can easily achieve mobile devices outside the real alert region with regards to the transmitted variety

    <a href=>air max 97 images</a>
    <a href=>5li2 nike free 4</a>
    <a href=>air jordan ii premio</a>
    <a href=>nike jordan 6 mens</a>
    <a href=>nike shox nz 136</a>
    carpinteyroufo October 30, 2014
    sentations around internet connection therewith.PLYMOUTH, Minn., August 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ In <a href=>B580L Black White Red - Nike Air Max Trainers UK</a>an effort to help you having nearby overflow help, virtually all Dickey Bar-b-q Compare regions within the Combined Urban centers area will likely be contributing 5% with sales via Comes to an end for you to Tuesday that will place avalanche pain relief. Chairman Roland Dickey will be at the Dickey Bar-b-q Pit inside Plymouth offering 250 free autographed duplicates with his / her different recipe book, Mr. Dickey Bbq Cook book. This unique site is likewise granting one particular lucky client no cost barbq for a year."We excited Mister. Dickey is due town that will help us using area ton help work,In said local franchise seller, Jeff Eggerud. for Feb 5th September 11, airwaves personalities Robert Chunk coming from WCCO and even Scott Koffy out of Viral buzz will be on site pertaining to product free things and also awards. Dickey Barbq within Plymouth is at for 3195 Vicksburg Road as well as the save phone number is usually 763 746 0029. All of Twin Towns and cities neighborhood locations including Chaska, Cherry Grove, Eagan, Shakopee, Savage, Eden Prairie, Burnsville, along with Coon Rapids are participating from the giveback end of the week. As well, Northern part Side along with . Fog up also are portion of the flooding help method."Not simply is Dickey focused upon high quality nutrition in the good value," said Roland Dickey, Jr., President and CEO involving Dickey Barbecue Places to eat, Inc. "We specializing in being agreeable friends and neighbors inside towns many of us offer, which describes why we're also thrilled that will help with avalanche aid endeavours."About Dickey Bbq RestaurantsDickey Barbecue was founded byTravis Dickeywith to ensure unique slow-moving reviewed bar-b-que. Above Seventy two yrs in the future, the actual Dallas, tx based friends and family operate bar-b-que business nonetheless delivers a level of quality choice of bank animal meat, dwelling fashion features, tangy barbq marinade together with no cost children food weekly. Most lean meats tend to be gradual smoked on site in every cafe. The fast recreational family friendly concept possesses broadened to in excess of 500 places inside 49 says and also has the headline of the universe biggest barbecue business. This year the two Technomic together with Region Eaterie Headlines known as Dickey "Fastest escalating eatery while in the country" they usually were definitely

    <a href=></a>
    <a href=></a>
    <a href=></a>
    <a href=></a>
    <a href=></a>