Beans, beans, good for the heart…
Did you know good ol’ beans are a superfood just like the trendy quinoa and chia seeds?
Beans are considered a carbohydrate and a protein source with very little fat and cholesterol. 1 cup of black beans contains 15 gram of dietary fiber and 15 grams of protein. Due to their high dietary fiber content, beans bring cholesterol down and triglyceride levels, reduce the spike in blood sugars after eating a meal, and prevent constipation by normalizing the digestive system.
In addition to beans favored macronutrient content, they also contain micronutrients such as antioxidants, B vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and zinc.
You can purchase black beans dried or canned in the grocery store.
- If you buy dried beans, soak the beans in water for 6-8 hours in a pot (water 1 inch above the beans). Discard the soaking water, rinse the beans, and cook the beans in fresh water on the stove for about 1 hour on low heat until the beans are soft.
- If you buy canned beans, the beans are already cooked, but you need to drain and rinse the canned beans to decrease the sodium content by removing the salt. Salt is added to canned foods for processing to maintain their shelf life.
Beans are often an ingredient in savory and spicy foods or a protein source ingredient in salads, but they also can replace flour in baked goods. This week’s heart healthy recipe features a popular chocolate treat, Black Bean Brownies!
Check out the low cholesterol recipe of Black Bean Brownies.
Labor Day Black Bean Brownies
Gluten-free moist brownies made with black beans instead of flour.
Yield: 12 servings
(1 serving = 2 oz or 3 in by 3 in brownie made in a 9 in x 12 in pan)
- 1-15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 egg whites
- ½ cup of honey (or agave nectar)
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp of baking soda
- Optional: ½ cup of dark chocolate chips (and/or walnuts, pecans, etc.)
Pre-heat oven to 350 º F and grease a 9- inch x12-inch pan (glass or tin). In a large bowl, mash the black beans with a large spoon/fork or with an emulsion blender. Add the wet ingredients (egg whites, honey, and vanilla) to the black beans and mix well. Add the dry ingredients (unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) to the wet mixture and mix well. Lastly, mix in the optional chocolate chips. Pour the brownie batter into the greased pan and bake brownies for 30 minutes.
Nutrition Information Per Serving (with chocolate chips): Calories: 121 kcal, Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Protein: 3 g, Sodium: 173 mg