How to Cook Canned Black Beans
Most people sell themselves short when it comes to cooking their beans. Too many people think cooking black beans is as simple as opening a can, pouring the contents into a pot, and letting the beans warm over low heat.
The Health Benefits of Black Beans
Black beans are one of the healthiest foods and offer numerous health benefits. They are high in both protein and fiber. A half-cup of black beans contains 114 calories, nearly 8 grams of protein, and 7.5 grams of fiber. But their health benefits extend far beyond the protein and fiber they provide. Consider the health benefits of black beans below.
Black beans are low in sodium and cholesterol, which can be beneficial for those trying to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Additionally, black beans contain minerals that have been shown to help decrease blood pressure, including:
Fiber has also been known to assist with lowering cholesterol levels. As a high-fiber food, black beans could help you decrease your chance of heart disease and lower your cholesterol. Additionally, black beans are high in quercetin, which studies have shown protects against the adverse effects that LDL cholesterol can have on the body.
Lastly, black beans are also high in saponins, which have been proven to help prevent damage to the entire cardiovascular system, including the heart and blood vessels. This is because they help lower blood cholesterol and blood lipid levels.
It’s not just milk that can help you strengthen your bones. As mentioned, black beans are high in calcium, which can help maintain or improve bone structure. Black beans also contain iron, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and zinc. All of these nutrients can help contribute to a healthier bone structure. They can also help improve joint health, something you may find beneficial as you age.
Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
The high fiber content in black beans can also help you manage diabetes. Studies show that those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes were able to lower their blood glucose levels when they consumed diets that were high in fiber. Similarly, those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were able to improve lipids, blood sugar, and insulin levels when consuming the same diet.
Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Many of the compounds in black beans have been shown to help prevent the risk of cancer. For example, black beans contain selenium, which has been shown to help detoxify carcinogens that enter the body.
Selenium has also been proven to slow down, or even decrease, the rate at which tumors grow. The saponins found in black beans have been proven to be able to prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Additionally, black beans contain folate, which is beneficial regarding preventing cancer cells from forming due to genetic mutations. Lastly, diets high in fiber have been shown to reduce the chance of colorectal cancer.
Digestion and Weight Loss
The high fiber found in black beans promotes a healthy digestive tract and helps your body develop a regulatory cycle. Fiber can also help encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon and other areas of the gastrointestinal tract.
Fiber can also be helpful for those trying to lose weight because it helps people feel full when they eat. When you feel fuller for more extended periods of time, you will be less likely to eat. And when you are less likely to eat, your daily caloric intake drops and you begin to lose weight.
How to Cook Canned Black Beans: Mistakes You Can Make
Although you may find fresh beans to be more flavorful, there’s nothing wrong with using canned black beans. But as you learn how to cook canned black beans, there are a few things you may want to consider.First things first, make sure you rinse the beans before using them. Beans in a can come in a thick, syrup-like liquid, a noticeable difference from dry beans. This liquid tends to be high in starch and sodium. Some recipes, like chili, may call for you to use this liquid. But, if your recipe doesn’t call for it explicitly, don’t use it.
Then, run them under running water that is room-temperature. You do not want to turn the sink up all the way. Otherwise, the force of the faucet stream could cause the beans to burst.
Many people are not aware that the ratio from dried beans to canned beans is different. It’s ok to use canned beans in a recipe, but be sure to substitute appropriately. Dried beans will increase in weight when cooked, nearly doubling in size.
If you are using canned beans as a substitute, know that one can of beans roughly equals a half-cup of dry beans.
Another common mistake on how to cook canned black beans is when people over-season them. We recommend purchasing low-sodium black beans, which should give you more flexibility in your recipe to season the beans as you’d like.
If you use canned beans that are not low in sodium, you won’t need much seasoning at all. Even if you rinse the beans, they can still be salty. Lastly, make sure that you store your beans properly.
Some people put the beans back in the can, which you should not do. There’s no lid to keep the beans sealed. And, a metallic taste will seep into the beans, ruining your next meal. Instead, use Tupperware or other similar storage, and put the beans in the refrigerator. They can last for approximately one week while refrigerated.
Preparing Black Beans
Now that you’re sold on the health benefits and know the mistakes to avoid, it’s time to learn how to cook canned black beans. When you learn how to cook canned black beans in a Carbon Steel China Wok, you’ll quickly find that there are numerous methods and recipes available. Two of our favorites are listed below.Don’t be afraid to try all of the recipes until you find one you like. You may even find that as you learn to cook canned black beans, you create a personal recipe. If this happens, be sure to share it with us!
Heat in a Saucepan
This recipe, courtesy of All Recipes, instructs you how to make a basic dish with canned beans in a saucepan and put it in a NuWave PIC. The prep time for this recipe is ten minutes, while the cook time is a mere five minutes. To get started, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 16 Ounces, or One Can, of Black Beans
- ¼ Cup Broth of your Choosing
- One Small Onion
- 1 Garlic Clove
- One Tablespoon Fresh Cilantro
- ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
In the Microwave
If you are really in a rush, you can also cook canned black beans in a microwave. Canned black beans are convenient for this because they do not require time to soak. Fresh, dry beans, however, must soak in water for a reasonable amount of time before you can use them. Learning how to cook with canned black beans can allow you to make a meal in a matter of minutes.
This recipe from Kids Health is for a Mexican-inspired dish. The recipe makes about six cups worth of food, which breaks down to about four 1-1/2 cup servings. To begin, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Two Cups of Brown “Instant” Rice
- 2 Cans of Black Beans
- Two Cups of Chopped Bell Pepper
- 1 Cup of Romaine Lettuce, Shredded
- ½ Avocado, Diced
- 4 Tablespoons of Chunky Salsa
Begin by cooking the rice in a Slow Cooker. The directions to do this should be on the back of the package. While the rice is cooking, rinse the canned black beans. Once the rice has prepared and you have cleaned the beans, combine them both in a microwave-safe bowl and add the salsa. Stir until combined.
Then, microwave on medium-high heat for approximately two minutes, or until the entire dish is warm. Remove from the microwave, and add the avocado and the bell pepper. Stir again, and let cool for one minute. Serve the dish on a bed of romaine lettuce, and enjoy.