Black beans, like kidney beans, are a variety of green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and are as such in the legume family. The beans are small, round, and shiny black. They have a slightly sweet taste and are very aromatic. Black beans contain high amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. If you use cooked beans, you should rinse them off well before using in order to remove any remaining preservatives. After opening, cooked beans should be stored in the refrigerator and used quickly. If it is possible, it is best to buy cooked beans in a jar as canned beans can contain traces of bisphenol A. See the text below for more information.
Black beans have a comparatively firm texture but when cooked long enough they become quite soft. As a valuable source of protein, they are found in many vegetarian and vegan dishes. They are particularly popular in Latin America, as the following examples illustrate:
It is a very popular bean in various regions of Brazil, and is used in the national dish, feijoada. It is also a main ingredient of Moros y Cristianos in Cuba, is a must-have in the typical gallo pinto of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, is a fundamental part of pabellón criollo in Venezuela, and is served in almost all of Latin America, as well as many Hispanic enclaves in the United States. In the Dominican Republic cuisine, it is also used for a variation of the Moros y Cristianos simply called Moro de habichuelas negras. The black turtle bean is also popular as a soup ingredient. In Cuba, black bean soup is a traditional dish, usually served with white rice.1
They also work well as a side, on salads, or in casseroles or purées.
Beans have a high protein content and contain a number of essential amino acids, but the protein contained does not include all of the essential amino acids. Some of the carbohydrates found in beans are in the form of oligosaccharoses, which our bodies cannot break down. Beans contain large amounts of the minerals calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron (mainly in the form of leghemoglobin), as well as vitamins B2, B6, C, E, provitamin A (beta-carotene), and folic acid. Vitamin C supports the absorption of the iron, but is largely lost during the cooking process.2
Advantages of dried beans:
White beans sold commercially (as well as other types of beans and legumes) are generally either dried or precooked and canned. While the canned variety is naturally easier and quicker to use, the dried beans have a better taste. And when you cook them at home, you can decide how firm you want them to be (Canned beans are often soft or even mushy). In addition, canned beans often contain unnecessary additives or added salt. As a result, it is best to use natural dried beans whenever possible.
Canned beans are convenient because they can just be heated and eaten immediately. However, it is generally better to prepare your own beans as the inside layer of cans are lined with epoxy resins and these contain bisphenol A (BPA), which exhibits estrogen-mimicking, hormone-like properties. Studies have shown that BPA can affect reproduction in animals, in particular, in the organs involved. In addition, long-term exposure is often associated with cardiovascular disease and obesity, although this has not yet been proven. A study conducted in 2011 showed that eating canned foods regularly quickly leads to high BPA exposure.
You can find the study at this address: ncbi nlm nih gov/pmc/articles /PMC3367259/.
When do you need to be careful?
People suffering from gout, acute nephritis, or gastritis should avoid eating beans or eat only very small amounts. The beans contain high levels of purines that the body breaks down into uric acid and excretes through the kidneys. People with impaired purine metabolism should therefore avoid purine-rich foods like beans.
From Wikipedia: The black turtle bean is a small, shiny variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), especially popular in Latin American cuisine, though it can also be found in Cajun and Creole cuisines of south Louisiana. Like most common beans, they are native to the Americas, but have been introduced around the world. They are also used in East Indian cooking, Punjabi cuisine and are referred to as black beans and in Maharshtrian cuisine known as "Kala Ghevada". They are used interchangeably with vigna mungo in countries such as the US. They are often simply called black beans (frijoles negros, zaragoza, judía negra, poroto negro, caraota o habichuela negra in Spanish, and feijão preto in Portuguese), although this can cause confusion with other black beans.1
Eating beans causes an increased amount of gas to form in the large intestine and can cause us to experience gas and bloating. The reason for this is that the beans contain trisaccharides, for example, raffinose, which humans cannot digest. However, intestinal bacteria can metabolize trisaccharides by excreting fermentation gases. One way to prevent these side effects is to soak the beans before cooking them to remove these sugars. However, minerals and water-soluble vitamins are lost in this process.2
Sources / Literature:
- Wikipedia. Black turtle bean, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Black_turtle_bean
- Wikipedia. Gartenbohne, de.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Gartenbohne