Black Beans

black beansProtein packed and antioxidant strong, the black bean is a staple in my vegan diet.

There is so much you can do with the mighty bean when it comes to creative cooking.  I will share a surprising recipe with you at the end of this post that’s primary ingredient is the black bean.

Beans are a food staple of many countries around the world.  Because they are one of the lowest priced foods this makes them affordable to all.  They hold so much bang for their buck too.

The black bean is very rich in essential nutrients and very high in fiber.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has ranked beans as one of the highest foods for rich antioxidants.  Antioxidants help to remove free radicals from your body therefore lowering your risk for all of those nasty modern day chronic illnesses.  The fiber in black beans is soluble fiber which acts like a broom in your digestive tract to sweep out all of the dead free radicals from your body that the antioxidants dealt with.

We are taught to look at brightly colored veggies and fruits as our strongest sources of phytonutrients but the black bean is a very high source of phytonutrient benefits as well.

The public health organizations such as the Diabetes Association, the Heart Association and the Cancer Society all place beans very high on their list of foods to help prevent disease.  In other words….you should be including beans in your DAILY food intake to optimize your health.

Aside from fiber and antioxidant benefits black beans contain protein and fiber in a marriage that supports blood sugar regulation.  The fact that the bean is digested slowly keeps your blood sugar from spiking or dropping.  A very harmonious marriage indeed.

Because the black bean contains soluble fiber it is also helpful in keeping your cholesterol levels in check.

When you eat beans with grains, like beans and rice together, they make a complete protein meaning that the two contain complementary amino acids that cannot be produced in our bodies.  Down south you will quite often find “beans and rice” as a side dish or a main dish on restaurant menus.

Including beans is so easy to do on a daily basis.  I eat beans every single day in some way or another.  Whether in soup, stews, burgers, salad, snacks, or even the odd dessert treat.  The recipe I will share with you uses the black bean to create delicious and healthy BLACK BEAN BROWNIES.  Brownies you say….from black beans….really?  Yes, really…and they are tasty.  Of course they are different than those fluffy, floury, sugary brownies you may be use to but when you are on a health mission such as I am these brownies fit the bill for providing me with a “guilty pleasure” without all of the bad stuff.

VEGAN GLUTEN FREE BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

(all of my ingredients are organic)

15 ounces cooked black beans (if using canned then make sure you drain and rinse them before using)

2 tbsp. ground flax seed meal mixed with 5 tbsp. of water left to sit 5 minutes to gel a bit (this is a vegan egg substitute)

3 tbsp. sunflower oil or coconut oil

3/4 cups cacao powder or cocoa powder ( good quality is important here)

1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt (my salt of choice but you could use any salt)

1/2 cup Coconut sugar or other low glycemic sugar  (heaping 1/2 cup)

1 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder

Raw organic crushed walnuts for topping

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 12 spot muffin tin with a bit of oil.  I spray mine with avocado oil but any oil will work.

In a food processor add beans, flax eggs, sunflower oil, cacao powder,  salt, sugar of choice and baking powder.  Pulse in your processor until ingredients are well blended and smooth.  You may need to add water in tiny increments to get the mixture to the right texture.   Be careful not to add too much water.  You don’t want this mix to be runny at all.

Split brownie mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups.  Sprinkle the crushed walnuts over top of each.

Bake for 25 minutes, until the tops are crusty and dry.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

Enjoy that yummy chocolate taste while bumping up your nutrition and fiber intake, helping your cholesterol levels, fighting free radicals and taking care of your sweet tooth.

 

 

 

 

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