Food and Recipe of the Month: Black Beans
Care of Andrea Howe of glowingongreens.com
Beans are certainly a magical fruit due to their nutritional content, but especially the black bean, being a popular legume used all around the world. It can be found in Mexican cuisine, veggie burgers, chilies, and more. Its significance may be deceiving, because even though it’s small, it is packed full of important nutrients.
Black beans are famous for their fibre content. Fibre can help regulate stools, lower blood sugars and weight, as well as decrease the risk of heart disease and various cancers including bowel, colon, breast, and prostate. Just one cup of black beans contains 15g of fibre, which is half of your recommended daily intake.
Black beans are also full of vitamins, specifically B vitamins. These vitamins, including thiamin and niacin are important for growth and development in children, as well as for our brain health.
Finally, black beans are a great source of plant-based protein, as well as rich in iron, with about 4 grams of iron in every cup. This makes them an important ingredient for vegetarians/vegans, women, and infants. The soft texture makes them a great snack for infants, but make sure to add a little lemon juice for maximal iron absorption.
This versatile and affordable ingredient can be found pre-cooked in cans, or in dried form. Try adding black beans to salads, stir fries, burgers, or even this Pesto Black Bean Pasta recipe.
1 package black bean noodles (I used Explore Cuisine), cooked according to package directions
1 handful of basil
2 tbsp cashews
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
2-4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pack extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
4-6 button mushrooms, sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1. Cook the noodles according to package directions.
2. In a blender, add basil, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Blend until fully combined (it’s okay for it to be a little bit chunky), and set aside.
3. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté tofu, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes until browned.
4. Turn off the heat and add in the noodles and pesto to the tofu mixture. Combine and serve.