Bountiful Black Beans

Black beans are an excellent plant-based protein source and provide support for the digestive tract with their high fiber content. Though technically a legume, they can be one of the most versatile beans around. Organizations like American Diabetes Association and Heart Association recommend about 3 cups of legumes weekly as an essential food group for preventing disease and optimizing health like heart disease and diabetes.

How to Select and Store
Beans can be bought raw in bulk or canned. They are one of the only food groups that are still as healthy in the canned form. Many other vegetables lose their nutrient content once canned. Making sure to get BPA free cans will help with toxicity.

Preparation
Thoroughly rinse beans under cold water (canned or raw) before you cook. Pre-soak overnight if they are raw to help to digest better. You only need to heat up canned black beans on the stovetop. Boil and reduce to a simmer for about 60-90 minutes if raw. Feel free to skim off any foam during cooking to help with digestibility.

Nutrients
Molybdenum, folate, fiber, copper, manganese, vitamin b1, phosphorous, magnesium, protein, iron

Action Steps
1. Enjoy black beans in a nice salad for a protein packed meal.
2. Try a cold black bean salad as another party option over a jar of salsa. It is super easy!
3. Consistently keep black beans in the cabinet for a healthy and quick meal option.

(Resource: whfoods.com, Picture: food.ndtv.com)