A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, April 4, 2011

If Batman were a bean....

....he'd be a Black Bean!  Not just because of the obvious, "Dark Knight," nickname he has, but they are both symbols of strength packed with many extras.  Maybe you are already aware of the many benefits derived from these tasty turtle beans, or you just enjoy eating them.  Either way, incorporating black (and other whole) beans is a smart choice for a long, healthy life.

Black beans are an excellent source of molybdenum, a mineral that aids in the detoxification of sulfites. Sulfites are preservatives found in foods like deli meat and canned goods. Persons who are sensitive to sulfites in these foods may experience rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation if sulfites are unwittingly consumed.

Black beans are also rich in dietary fiber, which contributes to their cholesterol-lowering benefits and low glycemic index rating. Soluble fiber absorbs water in the stomach forming a gel that slows down the metabolism of the bean's carbohydrates. The presence of fiber is also the primary factor in the cholesterol-lowering power of beans and their aid in preventing heart disease.

The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that the darker a bean's seed coat, the higher its level of antioxidants. As such, black beans are found to have the most antioxidants, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow, and white beans.
Black Bean on FoodistaBlack Bean
Vegetarians use black beans to replace red meat as a source of high quality protein. When combined with whole grains like barley, whole wheat pasta, or brown rice, they provide protein comparable meat or dairy without the high calories or saturated fat often found in these foods.

Black beans' contribution to cardiovascular health also lies in their significant amounts of folate, magnesium, and poylphenols. It has been estimated that consumption of 100% of the daily value (1 cup of black beans offer 64%) of folate would, by itself, reduce the number of heart attacks suffered by Americans each year by 10%.

Black beans contain iron and manganese which are essential to the production of energy in our bodies. These nutrients also aid the body in warding off unwelcome outside intruders.

Read more on black beans' benefts at http://www.whfoods.com/.
If their excellent flavor wasn't reason enough, the numerous benefits should help motivate you to let black beans find a place on your plate.  I love to get canned beans and use as a quick salad topper or mix in with store bought salsa for protein in a flash.  Be cautious with the canned variety, check ingredients to ensure only black beans are in the can, and be sure to drain and rinse to remove the high levels of sodium.
Instead of refried pinto beans, use fat free refried black beans that are usually found canned right next to the pinto beans.  Even better, just buy canned black beans in their whole form and mash them with a fork for your own "refried" beans.  These make a great dip, spread, or base to mix with plain yogurt, salsa, and any herbs/spices you like to wow your family!  One of my favorite, Kelley's too, recipes is a one-pot meal with quinoa, canned tomatoes or salsa, and black beans mixed together with cilantro, cumin, and, of course, cayenne for a quick, tasty, healthy lunch or dinner.  This would even go great in a tortilla for a perfect vegetarian wrap.
Have a sweet tooth but don't want the guilt afterward?  Try black bean brownies!  You will get extra protein, fiber, and nutrients when you replace flour with black beans.  Try the following recipe as a starter, and don't be scared to change ingredients as you see fit.

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

3 eggs - or use 5 egg whites - or use 2 mashed bananas for vegan brownies

3 tablespoons vegetable oil - applesauce or mashed bananas can be used to replace half of this amount

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup white sugar - use 1/3 cup agave nectar or honey - or use 1 to 2 tsp liquid stevia

1/4 cup milk or dark chocolate chips (optional)


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.

2.Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a blender and blend until smooth; pour mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture if using. If your mixture seems too messy or fudgy, try adding 1/4 cup of oats to your mix.

3.Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes
Don't wait too long to make these awesome brownies, you'll find no one will even notice they are packed with black bean protein and fiber.  I wish you all good eats!!

No comments:

Post a Comment