Mini-Week, What’s So Great About: Black Beans

Mini-Week, What’s So Great About: Black Beans

I’m new here on SPC. but if you keep coming back, you’ll see I have a few ideas about food. I am not a vegetarian, but I am (ever so slightly) obsessed with finding satisfying alternatives to eating meat. I had a life changing moment when I saw Mark Bittman talking about what’s wrong with what we eat for TED. Like many ex-smokers and new marathon runners, I feel compelled to share my life-changing moment with everyone who will listen. Take a look at this clip and tell me you aren’t convinced.

http://www.ted.com/talks/mark_bittman_on_what_s_wrong_with_what_we_eat.html

So, what’s so great about black beans?

You guessed it. They are a great source of protein. Like all beans they are also low in fat and inexpensive. But black beans stand out among their peers as their deep dark colour contain 8 different flavonoids. Flavonoids are color-producing phytonutrient pigments that have great anti-oxidant potential. A quick chat with Marie Fortin, a Registered Dietitian and owner of Thrive Consulting in Markham ON (and mom), reveals that over and above being a source of protein and antioxidants, “black beans are high in fiber, including soluble fiber, which is good for managing blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels. They are also an excellent source of folate, which is heart-protective and known to reduce neural-tube defects during fetal development. Beans also provide calcium for bone building.” You simply can not say the same about a 12 oz steak.

PREPARATION:

I always believed that one had to eat beans with rice in order to create a complete protein. Fortin tells me that “while we once advised clients to get complementary proteins in the same meal, we now know that the elements can be consumed separately over the course of a day. This still provides the body with a full complement of the essential amino acids.” Who knew?
Fortin assures me that the protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals in beans are not altered by cooking or canning. Choose whichever source you find easiest to prepare (dried or canned) and just enjoy legumes more often. -H.P.

RECIPE:

sweetpotatochronicles.com/2010/08/sweet-sweet-sweet-corn-salad.html

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