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Black Beans

Black Beans

Black beans, being such a traditional American foodstuff (and note that I’m talking about The Americas here, not USA – get off your USA centric high horse!) is featured in many traditional recipes. You can get chili con carne with them; enchiladas with them; attractive corn and black bean salads; soups with them; and stews with them. One of the simplest ways to enjoy them is to eat them stewed up with just salt, and fried onion and garlic. You could add some lime and leaf coriander (cilantro) to add some extra “Mexican” taste to it, too.

Did you know that black beans have the most fibre of any bean known to man? They are also high in iron and protein, as well as many other nutrients. In fact, that trademark black colour signifies the presence of a nutrient – anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are antioxidants, and as such protect against cancer as well as other illnesses.

The nutrient richness of black beans is such that many have found it to help with gout. A simple broth made out of it can help immensely with gout symptoms for many people. Black soya works in the same way, which contains the same anthocyanins which the black turtle bean has, but which is otherwise quite different from the black turtle bean, so it would seem that it is the anthocyanins which are helping here.

If you’ve never tried these beans before, I suggest you give it a go! They are easy enough to find in Mexican food stores, as well as in organic stores and big supermarkets in general. Just soak them overnight with some bicarbonate of soda, and then drain and boil for about 30 minutes or until soft. You can then use them in salads, or keep them in their cooking liquid to make a soup (add vegetables and seasonings) or a stew (just mash a few of the beans until the consistency is thick).