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We tend to think of brightly colored fruits and vegetables as our best source of phytonutrients, but recent research shows that black beans are actually a strong contender in phytonutrient benefits. This humble and inexpensive food is an outstanding source of anthocyanin flavonoids which create the rich black color. The bean is also an excellent source of protein and of resistant starches which keep your lower gut healthy.
Although purists prefer soaking dried beans for two hours or more before cooking, canned beans are a healthy option. Unlike canned vegetables, which have lost much of their nutritional value, there is little difference in the nutritional value between canned beans and those you cook yourself. In Brazil, black beans are such an important part of the diet that the official dietary guidelines recognize them as a separate food group which should be eaten every day.
In this recipe, the combination of black beans, oranges, and hot pepper creates a sweet savory dish which we serve with a hearty bread.
Preparation time: 1 hour. Makes 4 servings
2 cans black beans
1-2 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
½ bunch cilantro with stems, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp anise seed (optional)
3 cups vegetable stock
3 oranges, peeled, sectioned, seeded
¼ – ½ tsp red pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper
juice of ½ lime or to taste
For more about the nutritional benefits of black beans, see The World’s Healthiest Foods.
Copyright 2016 Michael Simms and Eva-Maria Simms.