For the month of April, we shift our focus to Black Beans

  • Black beans contain an abundance of soluble fiber which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A half cup of black beans contains 8 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein, at only ~114 calories per serving. Unfortunately canned black beans also come with extra sodium added for preservation. Be sure to rinse your beans and reheat in order to help reduce your sodium intake.
  • Black beans have a low glycemic index because they contain complex carbohydrates and protein. They are digested slowly, which can help to stabilize blood glucose levels and may curtail fatigue and irritability. Since black beans are metabolized slowly, they may aid in weight loss as they keep you full without being excessively high in calories.

Recipes of the Month

Cuban Black Bean and Yellow Rice Bowlblack bean rice bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe plantains, peeled and diagonally sliced 1⁄2 inch thick (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 (10-oz.) pkg. yellow rice
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped red onion (from 1 onion), divided
  • 2 (16-oz.) cans seasoned black beans, drained (do not rinse)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 radishes (about 3 oz.), chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, quartered

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place plantain slices in a single layer on parchment; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and sprinkle with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt. Roast in preheated oven until lightly browned and very tender, 16 to 18 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  3. While rice and plantains cook, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium. Add jalapeño and 1 cup of the red onion; cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in black beans, water, cumin, and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; cook until liquid is slightly reduced, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Divide cooked rice evenly among 4 bowls. Top each with beans, roasted plantains, chopped radishes, and diced avocado. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and remaining 1⁄4 cup red onion. Serve with lime wedges.

Black Bean Burgersblack bean burger

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-oz.) slice whole-grain bread, toasted and torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 5 times. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Combine onion, garlic, juice, cumin, salt, lime, and beans in processor; pulse 4 to 5 times. Add bean mixture, walnuts, hot sauce, and egg to crumbs; stir well. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 3/4-inch-thick patty.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan; reduce heat to medium, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.