Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Add Black Beans to Everything

By Alana Sugar, April 18, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
My friend Julia makes a mean black bean soup…plenty of cumin, fresh vegetables and homemade stock. I, on the other hand, make a mean pan of Black Bean Brownies! You heard that right! Black beans are more versatile than you may have imagined. Black beans, also known as black turtle beans, are especially popular in Caribbean, Cuban and South American dishes. But you’ll also find them spruced up in favorite foods from my native neck of the woods — South Louisiana, the home of Creole and Cajun cuisine. Their quality plant protein, dietary fiber, hearty texture and earthy flavor make them a filling favorite among vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Delicious in everything from salads to soups and desserts, these dietary superstars are nutritionally dense, inexpensive and incredibly versatile! By adding black beans to your menu, you get a well-deserved big bang for your food bucks. Like all beans, they are low fat and have no cholesterol. Their fiber promotes good digestive health and healthy blood sugar levels. They also have plant protein, iron, B vitamins, potassium and antioxidants to support cellular health. If you haven’t yet jumped on the mean bean machine, black beans are a great place to begin. Lucky for us, they are available dried, canned and frozen. Keeping canned beans handy makes for easy, quick meals. Be sure to look for organic or natural with no added chemicals or preservatives. If they have an excess of sodium, give them a good rinse before using. Try some of my favorite black bean recipes: A couple of notes on beans:
  1. If you are cooking from scratch, start by soaking overnight. Next day, drain well and cook in a pot of fresh water. Don’t add anything acidic such as tomatoes or lemon juice until completely tender as this can hinder the cooking process.
  2. Let’s be frank: It’s no secret that beans of all kinds can cause digestive distress, namely gas. Take heart! Check out our Five Tips to Deflate Flatulence.
Have you turned your kitchen into a mean black-bean machine? Got a favorite idea or recipe? Let me know!




christine tripp says ...
I don't have a specific bean/black bean recipe but tend to add them to most everything I make. Any soups, blend them up as a thickener for stews, the possibilities are endless. I love most of the recipes that I find on my WF's app (using the app for my grocery list makes life so much simpler and organized:) I purchase organic, my favorite canned bean brand has to be Eden organic from the ones I have tried. They do not have an added sodium content (other then seaweed) Important to me with my high blood pressure. I do wish that in Ottawa, Ontario Canada we had a WF's store. We hear rumors of one coming to our downtown core in the next few years but sadly few people, including myself, would be willing to fight downtown traffic very often in order to shop:(
04/18/2011 7:43:45 AM CDT
SusieBeeOnMaui (Eat Little, Eat Big) says ...
Great collection of recipes - thanks! Haven't made bean brownies before (my wildest brownies, and one of the best recipes is for zucchini brownies http://eatlittleeatbig.blogspot.com/2010/11/recipe-for-double-chocolate-zucchini.html ) My favorite recipe for black beans is made in a slowcooker-cuban beans http://eatlittleeatbig.blogspot.com/2010/10/slowcooker-cuban-beans-and-rice.html
04/18/2011 12:53:04 PM CDT
Ralph Dratman says ...
Black beans are a passionate food. I learned to love them in Costa Rica, where the local specially cooked and seasoned rice and beans recipe called Gallo Pinto is served every day for breakfast. I know of no better way to start the day than a plate of gallo pinto and a fried egg or some cheese, along with wonderful Costa Rican black coffee. That's the life!
04/19/2011 11:44:23 AM CDT
Amy says ...
Kidney bean fudge has been a holiday favorite of ours for at least 10 years! It is so wonderful that beans are finally getting some recognition :)
04/19/2011 3:16:58 PM CDT
Jennifer Regan @ Bamboo Core Fitness says ...
What a great compilation of recipes. I am a personal trainer, holistic lifestyle and nutrition coach - I will be sure to pass this information along to my clients. :) I am looking forward to trying these out on my own as well. Thanks so much!
04/19/2011 4:12:54 PM CDT
African Caribbean Food says ...
Wow! What a Recipe! It makes my mouth water. Recently I found Akee Pasta recipe one of Caribbean Cuisine. Try This also...
04/20/2011 3:10:42 AM CDT
Cooking4carnivores says ...
I love them in my smashed avocado topped cheesy quesadillas - http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/2011/02/speedy-gonzalas.html
04/20/2011 2:15:27 PM CDT
nopparat says ...
in Thailand most popular stick icecream is Black Bean coconut milk icecream we also eat blackbean in coconut milk with sticky rice They are really delicious and very good for health.
04/21/2011 10:51:14 PM CDT
Mary Sahs, ND says ...
I make 3 lunch servings by combining a can of black beans (rinsed & drained) with a can of diced tomatoes and some chopped onions & garlic. Then add your favorite combination of herbs and spices: Italian, Indian, Asian, Mexican, Greek, African... the possibilities are endless. If you're cooking for one, you could even divide the basics into servings and make 3 different versions to add some variety to your lunches. Fun to experiment with flavors.
04/22/2011 8:05:53 AM CDT
Maron says ...
I made this brownies for Easter family gathering on Sunday because my sister in law and her son have celiac disease. I'm always in charge of desserts at the family gatherings and running out of dessert recipes..I'm so greatful that I found this recipe! I followed the method exactly its said except for using food processer. I dont have one so used a blender. It turned out so great but just like some ppl already commented, I would add more vanilla extract and bake about 45 min. I cant wait to tell them what's in the brownies after their first bite! hehe
04/22/2011 8:21:46 PM CDT
Marilyn McVoy says ...
All beans seem to be healthy, but black beans the least so because the tip the acid/alkali balance of your body to acid, which is not good. Alkali is healthier.
04/25/2011 6:26:19 PM CDT
Megan says ...
Black bean brownies?! I have got to try these. I love black beans whether I make a dip, soup, burgers, or stuffed peppers, black beans often take the place of ground beef. But in a dessert?! I can not wait to try this recipe!
10/13/2011 12:19:05 PM CDT