Black beans are legumes called with another name Turtle Beans due to their hard shells. They are rich in protein and fiber content recommended mostly by nutritionists as healthy food due to many minerals and vitamins found in them. While there are many ways of cooking them, let’s find out how to cook black beans most healthily.
Some interesting facts about black beans are that they supply 114 calories per half cup and are also found to be good for heart and bones. They contain useful substances that are quite good for human health like calcium, magnesium, zinc, saponins and many others. Due to the low quantity of sodium in black beans, they are good for lowering blood pressure. Besides, folate fiber and vitamin B6 are naturally helpful in preventing heart diseases.
Studies have revealed that the foods containing fibers have proven to be great in managing low glucose levels in the body hence minimizing the chances of diabetes to occur. Black beans are also rich in selenium that helps in the detoxification of certain cancer-causing compounds found in the human body.
Easy Way to Cook Canned Black Beans
The black beans in 1 cup are doubled to 2 cups after cooking. Usually, they are taken in canned form. Make sure to remove small pebbles and overly dried beans.
What You Need?
- Canned black beans
- Water (3 cups)
- Salt (for dried beans)
- Bay leaves or garlic cloves
The healthiest way of cooking black beans firstly involves overnight soaking of beans after thorough rinsing. About an inch of cold water is added to cover them. At least 4 hours of soaking is necessary or else overnight soaking is the best option. Now, before cooking, drain and rinse them carefully.
For quick soaking, a similar procedure is done except that the beans are boiled for few minutes and then soaked for an hour by removing the heat. It will take almost 1 hour to cook soaked beans. The quantity of water should be estimated correctly, 3 cups of water are best for 1 cup of uncooked beans. For seasoning, garlic cloves or bay leaves are usually added in the cooking water.
Stored dry beans can stay for almost a year and canned ones can be kept covered for 3 years. keep them properly covered to protect them from fungal attack. Also, make sure to use pre-cooked beans until 5 days while keeping them refrigerated.
How to Cook Dried Black Beans?
The cooking methodology of dry beans is almost similar except that one thing is essential to be kept in mind. The use of fresh water to cook beans and draining off the water used for soaking is not a good idea.
If the beans are cooked in the same water used for soaking them, they turn out to be more flavorful, retain their texture and also look very appealing. Hence, do not drain out the water used for soaking. It also removes the essential nutrients along with better taste. They are good for use over a longer period if covered properly.
How Long to Cook Black Beans?
The best time for cooking black beans is from 45 minutes to 1 hour. The overcooking of black beans will not only break them causing a loss of shape but also will affect the taste and color. One tip to be remembered while is that do not add salt in the black beans during cooking. It will slow down the overall process. The salt can be added after the beans have been cooked to add flavor.
Canned Beans or Dried Beans?
- Canned beans contain extra sodium. If you are cooking canned beans, do not add salt as they are already rich in sodium. keep them ‘unsalted’.
- Dried beans are cheaper than the canned ones. So, if you are that money-saving lady, then go for the dried ones.
- BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical that causes heart diseases and cancer. This chemical is usually found in closed containers like cans. Hence, the use of canned beans is a bit risky.
This general analysis shows that dried beans must be preferred over the canned ones to avoid all such risks.
Myths About Cooking Beans
- It is considered that soaking overnight is better than quick soaking of black beans which involves boiling, however when tested, it was concluded that the quick-soaked beans just took 5 minutes less time to cook than the beans soaked for the whole night.
- Another myth related to black beans is that the lid must be used to cover beans. It, however, showed that the beans cooked without lid were far better in flavor, though they took few extra minutes to be cooked.
Hence, there are several such kinds of myths associated with the cooking techniques of the black beans. The simplest yet healthiest way has been described to let you know what counts.