Saturday, 25 January 2014

January SuperFood of the Month is....... Black Beans!

It’s cold outside. Very cold. Cold enough to make you wanna curl up on your couch all day and avoid contact with anyone in the outside world. These past few weeks I haven’t left the house without hotpaws in my ski mitts, wool socks, a huge blanket scarf, boiling tea and occasionally tights underneath my pants. To escape the freezing temperatures, I have been indulging in more comfort foods lately and been emptying my cupboard of all canned goods to avoid the two minutes dash to Sobeys across the street. One of my favourite finds has been canned black beans. Extremely nutritious, versatile and yummy, black beans are great for vegans and meat eaters alike.

Note: to my knowledge, black beans are not Paleo or GAPS diet friendly, but are allowed on the SCD.

First lets start with the numbers: One ½ cup of black beans contains 110 calories, 1 gram of fat, and a whopping 6 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein.  Here are some of the health benefits of black beans

Black beans are a great source of iron, ½ cup contains 15% of the recommend daily value, which is great for vegans and vegetarians who are often lack iron in their diet.

Adding black beans to main dishes is a great way to boost the fiber content of your meals.

Black beans are also an excellent source of other important micronutrients, including folic acid, and high in cancer fighting antioxidants

If eating black beans raw in a salad, be sure to soak ahead of time to reduce their phytic acid content (binds important nutrients) and raffinose content (the reason beans are called the magical fruit)

What to do with that lonely can of beans? Black beans make a great addition to salads, soups, and casseroles. Especially good with Mexican flavors (think taco salad), I love adding black beans to Mexican style soup or egg scramble with spicy salsa. I’ve also made a delicious chipotle black bean dip before. Black beans also make GREAT desserts. The best part is that canned beans last forever. When on sale, I'll always buy a couple cans at time and that way I never run out or pay full price. 

Here are some of my favourite black bean recipes



Vegan Black bean brownies

Vegan Brownie Batter Dip
(sub black beans for garbanzo beans)

For all the above recipes, don’t be afraid to adjust seasoning to taste. I always cut down the amount of sugar I add to recipe (I don’t have a very big sweet tooth) and usually replace any sort of vegetable oil with coconut oil and applesauce in dessert recipes!

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