Black beans are part of the legume family. But these beans are not just of one type. In fact, it comes in many varieties. Each type can be distinguished from the others because of the distinct shades of their black outer layer. As the name implies, most of the beans appear black. However, when closely examined, some are in dark purple or in midnight black color and all of the different varieties contain a milky white interior. More than the color, these beans stand out because of its high nutritional value and its tasty flavor.
Black beans originally came from South America many years ago. Since it is easy to plant, quick to grow and inexpensive to produce, it became a popular ingredient in many of the South American dishes. The flavor is described as hearty and earthy much like the taste of mushrooms. Also, the beans have a thick and hard covering that does not deform easily during cooking. It can even retain its shape and texture even after a long period of boiling. The stock that can be obtained from boiling black beans is said to be flavorful and nutritious. It can be a substitute to common broths such as chicken and beef. Black beans are very versatile. It is being used in many types of dishes and recipes like soups, stews, salads and burritos.
Black beans are available in almost all of the grocery stores and supermarkets. They are very affordable too. The beans can be brought dried or canned. Dried black beans are better recommended than the canned ones. Canned ones can contain the toxic substance known as PCBs. However, in terms of shelf life, the canned types can store longer up to as long as 1 year while the dried ones can only last up to three days after cooking.
Black bean recipes can be commonly found in cookbooks and the internet. These recipes are often paired with a balsamic vinaigrette recipe. Having a meal with both of these ingredients is truly a healthy and nutritious meal.