Black Beans: “The Magical Fruit”

Welcome to my first blog post! Hooray!

To start my blog, I wanted to talk about something simple: Black Beans. For me, this food is one of my staples. I cook it whenever I feel lazy, when I am in a hurry, or when I just need a great side dish for Spanish or Tex-Mex dishes. I love black beans because they are an excellent protein source, high in fiber, and extremely cheap in the grocery stores. You can either buy them dry or out of the can. However, black beans are becoming a convenience for the consumer to just buy a can of pre-cooked black beans instead of spending the extra 45 minutes at home letting the dry black beans soak, hydrate, etc. I recommend just purchasing the black beans in the can (didn’t expect that one, did ya?) because a) It saves you time and b) It has all the same nutrients c)It is going to be cheaper if you are just cooking for yourself. If you are still nervous about purchasing black beans from a can, purchase the “organic” or “central market” brands.

Now, the reason I enjoy preparing black beans over other types of beans (pinto, kidney, etc) is because I love the flavor that black beans have when they are cooked with stronger flavors like from garlic or onions. And below I will outline a very simple, quick, and delicious recipe on how to prepare black beans to rid that “from the can taste.”

The Evolved Method:

– 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil

– 1/4 Yellow Cooking Onion, chopped

– 2 Garlic Cloves, minced

– 1 Can of Black Beans

– 1/3 Cup of Water

– 2 tsp Ground Cumin

–  A pinch of Salt

– A pinch of Black Pepper

– 1/4 tsp Chili Powder (optional)

– Cilantro, Pico de Gallo, and Feta Cheese as garnishes (optional)

1) Heat about 1 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (E.V.O.O. as Rachel Ray likes to abbreviate it) in a medium saucepan over medium heat. And let the olive oil get hot before you proceed! To check, you might want to flick in a small amount of water – if the water sizzles and pops in the pan with the EVOO, then you know to proceed.

2) Add in 1/4 chopped yellow cooking onion with 2 cloves of minced garlic (I like to use more, but depends how much you like garlic.) Allow the garlic and onions to cook in the pan until they caramelize (about 5 minutes).

3) When the garlic and onions are nice and golden-brown, add in your 1 can of black beans, 1/3 cup of tap water, 2 tsp of ground cumin, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, and, if you like a little bit of zest, add 1/4 tsp of chili powder.

4) Let the beans simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until it begins to thicken a little bit, stirring occasionally. (This allows all the flavors to blend together).

5) You’re done! If you wanted to add even more great flavor, sprinkle some fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, and feta cheese on top!

Suggestions: You can serve these black beans with many things. I usually put them on corn tortillas as a snack or even puree them and make a REALLY good and flavorful black bean dip!

Don’t forget to recycle your black bean can! 🙂 Enjoy!

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