Savory Black Beans is a frugal and simple recipe. It pairs well with any meat, vegetable side, or starch you have in mind, because it isn’t overly seasoned. The amount of liquid used in this recipe gives just enough of a sauce to the beans so they aren’t dry.
Certainly, we have all heard that beans are good for you. In fact, they are high in protein, fiber, low in fat, and high in other vitamins and minerals. Most importantly, dried beans are an extremely affordable source of protein. Obviously canned beans are convenient, however, they cost more and have less flavor. When eaten in combination with rice, corn or starchy vegetables, a complete protein chain is formed. Thus, making beans a great option as a meat alternative. This post may contain affiliate links to Amazon or other programs. I do earn a small commission from the sales made through these links; however your price never changes.
There is much debate about whether or not to soak beans before cooking. In all honesty, consuming beans can cause gastric distress in some people. Fortunately, soaking them and increasing consumption over time can help with alleviating this issue. I find that soaking them before cooking is more kind to the bean structure. In fact, the skins tend to stay more intact, which is beneficial if you are using them in a salad. You can read more in-depth about soaking and cooking beans here.
Notably, color loss in any food can really disappoint a cook. Certainly, I’ve been there. Cooked black beans generally range from a deep purple to dark brown. So, I took some time to research ways to retain their beautiful color during cooking. Ultimately, I discovered that there are two things that can be done. First, by using the soaking water from the beans, and second by adding a very small amount of baking soda. The addition of baking soda also aids in making the beans more tender. However, if you have concerns over sodium content, you may omit it.
Ingredients and tools
Here are some kitchen tools and wares that I used to prepare this dish:
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- Sort the black beans, remove any stones, foreign material or damaged beans.
- Place beans in a strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
- Place beans in a water tight container and cover with four cups of water. Allow to soak overnight.
- Once the beans are soaked, drain off 2 cups of the soaking water and reserve. Drain the beans.
- Place drained beans in a 1 ½ quart, heavy bottomed pan. Add 1 ½ cups of reserved soaking water, and baking soda. Sir. Bring to a boil. The baking soda will help the beans keep their black color.
- Reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer 60-90 minutes or until beans are almost done. Add small amounts of the left over reserved soaking water during cooking if needed. Stir occasionally.
- In a separate pan, sweat listed onion in the olive oil (they don't need to be too soft). When done, add it to the beans along with the bay leaf and seasonings.
- Simmer uncovered for 10-15 until done. Remove the bay leaf before serving.