Black beans are part of the legume family. Beans are known scientifically as Phaselous vulgaris. They originated in parts of Central and South America and were introduced into Europe in the 15th century by Spanish explorers. For many reasons, beans have become popular in many cultures throughout the world. Black beans, in particular, are an important staple in the cuisines of Central and South America. Personally, I grew up in Venezuela, a country found in South America, and I always enjoyed a cup of black beans with my meals. Once I came to the United States, I found out that not everyone had the same pleasure as me. I have decided to write about beans because among all groups of food commonly eaten worldwide, no group has a more health-supportive mix of protein-plus-fiber than legumes. For this reason, many public health organizations recommend legumes as a key food group for preventing disease and optimizing health. Recent studies classified black beans as one of the world’s healthiest foods due to their abundance health benefits. Some of the benefits found are:
If you are cooking beans at home, soak beans in water for at least 8 hours.
Discard bean soaking water.
Cooked black beans will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about three days if placed in a covered container.
When cooking beans, add seasonings after the beans have been cooked to decrease cooking time.
If buying canned beans, look for low sodium options and rinse the beans after opening the can to remove excess additives.