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What Do Black Beans Taste Like?


Black beans are an underrated superfood. And while it’s a kitchen staple for some, you may wonder, what do black beans taste like? And is it possible to add this ingredient to every dish? 

In today’s food guide, we’ll explore the black bean’s flavors, its many uses, and its benefits in your diet.

glass dish filled with black beans

What Are Black Beans?

Black beans are also known as “turtle beans.” They have been a North American staple for over a thousand years. Since they are cheap and delicious, they quickly became a common ingredient in the kitchen. Black beans are now cultivated and eaten in the United States and worldwide.

Black beans are legumes. They are one of the bean’s many varieties. Other legumes include peas, peanuts, lentils, and other types of beans. Aside from black beans, other popular beans are pinto beans, kidney beans, and lima beans.

You can buy beans in bulk at most supermarkets. Canned beans are also available if you’re in a rush.

When you buy them in bulk, black beans are medium-sized and only half an inch long. They are oblong-shaped and less curved than kidney beans. Black beans have smooth black coats with a white center, hence their name.

There are two ways to prepare black beans. You can either pre-soak them or boil them. Pre-soaking the beans helps the cooking process in three ways. The black beans get cooked evenly, become easier to digest, and cut the cooking time in half. 

If you’re in a rush, you can also opt for boiling the black beans. The process is simple. You place the beans in a pot and cover them with enough water. Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for at least an hour. You can add aromatics such as bay leaves, garlic, onion, or other spices. After simmering, drain the black and beans and add to your dish.

When cooked, these beans have a soft and creamy texture. The black bean’s taste is versatile. This means it’ll most likely taste like the dish you’re cooking it with. However, it doesn’t mean that black beans don’t have a taste of their own. We’ll explore the bean’s flavors in the following section.

What Do Black Beans Taste Like?

Let’s get back to the question: what do black beans taste like? In general, black beans have mild and subtle flavors. They readily absorb the spices of the food they’re cooked with. 

The texture of black beans is soft, creamy, and slightly chewy. When it comes to flavors, black beans have earthy and nutty tastes. Since it doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor, black beans are a great addition to recipes. Black beans are a staple in Mexican dishes.

Black Beans VS. Pinto Beans

A popular variety of beans is pinto beans. Its name literally means “painted bean.” This is because a pinto bean has tan skin with brown painted spots. A pinto bean is also bigger than a black bean, yet they are softer.

Black and pinto beans also differ in flavor and texture. Pinto beans taste creamier, nuttier, and earthier. They also have a mushier texture when cooked. On the other hand, black beans have a stronger hearty flavor.

When cooking pinto beans, it’s recommended to pre-soak or boil them. Since they’re softer, pinto beans cook faster. If you’re in a rush, canned pinto beans are also available in grocery stores.

Both black beans and pinto beans work as great fillers for stew and chili. They bind the ingredients together and help the stomach fill faster. You can also use black or pinto beans as alternatives for each other.

In the refried beans recipe, you can use both black beans and pinto beans. However, we recommend using pinto beans because they are easier to mash. Refried beans are also great for spreads or side dishes.

Beans Shelf Life

Dried beans have a long shelf life. When stocking up, we recommend buying them in bulk. You should store them in an airtight container and away from sunlight. Always remember to label the dried beans when you buy them. You shouldn’t store old beans from newer beans as they have different cooking times.

Canned beans have an even longer lifespan. However, keeping them in a cool and dry place is still recommended. To extend your black beans’ storage, you can opt for freezing them. Simply place the cooled beans in an airtight container and store them in your freezer. Cooked black beans can last up to six months in the freezer.

What Are the Uses of Black Beans?

Since black beans have a subtle flavor, you can easily add them to most recipes. They are commonly seen in Central and Southern American cuisines. You can use beans as fillers, side dishes, or the main entree. Here are some examples of how you can highlight your recipes with black beans:

Veggie Burger

One of the popular uses for black beans is vegetarian burgers. In fact, black beans are common in vegan recipes. Instead of using the usual meat, replace it with the ground or mashed black beans. 

And then, you add breadcrumbs, eggs, herbs, and spices. You mix them together and form them into patties. You can then grill the vegan patties or fry them on the stove. 

Mashed Beans

Another option for black beans is using them for mashed potatoes. It’s a great way to taste the savory mushiness of the potato without the added calories. Since beans only have a subtle flavor, you won’t notice a big difference when it comes to taste.

To make mashed black beans, just cook them as you would with potatoes. You can even leave some of the beans whole to get some extra crunch. And then, you can add the butter and other spices of your choice. Mashed black beans are also a great way to lessen your starch intake. 

Black Bean Brownies

In case you didn’t know, black beans can also act as a flour alternative for desserts. You can add black bean powder or even mashed black beans into brownies. The difference in taste isn’t noticeable. There are also many additional health factors.

Black bean brownies are lower in sugar yet higher in fiber. The gooey chocolate flavors work well with the mild earthy bean taste. You’ll also get a hint of the nutty flavors with every bite. It’s an excellent way to make vegan desserts.

Bean Pizza

This might sound uncommon, but it’s an exciting way to spice up your pizza night. You can make bean pizza in two ways. You can add the mashed beans to the pizza dough or add them as toppings.

Bean pizza dough will surely add a layer of savory flavor to the other ingredients. Bean toppings will also complement the tomatoes, onions, and sauce. This combination is actually not too far off from some Mexican recipes. 

Smoothie

You’ve heard of breakfast smoothies, but what about a bean smoothie? Another way to freshen your morning is to add a cup of black beans to your fruit or veggie smoothie. The good news is that it won’t affect the overall flavor, yet you’ll get all the nutrients.

Just like with brownies, we recommend pairing black beans with chocolate or bananas. This will provide an extra layer of texture and mild nutty flavors. It’ll also fill you up faster with its high fiber content.

Bean Dip

The most common way of preparing black beans is by making them into bean dip. It’s a versatile dip that you pair with most appetizers. It’s usually seen in Mexican gatherings and paired with tortilla or nacho chips.

The best part about black bean dips is that you can add whatever spice you want. You can use tomatoes, onions, chilis, etc. The toppings don’t matter. The bean dip will hold all those extra flavors together.

Pancakes

Another way to use your black beans is to make special pancakes. Simply add them to the pancake batter or replace the flour with beans. This will surely give your pancakes a different color. However, the taste will more or less remain the same. It’s also a clever way to get children to eat more vegetables.

Scrambled Bean Eggs

Eggs and beans go so well together that the British made them part of their national dish. In this case, we highly recommend adding black beans to your scrambled eggs. 

The complex flavors stay the same either by cooking them together or separately. You’ll get a burst of the salty and savory from the eggs. And on the other hand, you’ll get a nice creamy and nutty texture from the beans.

Black Bean Soup

If you’re looking for the perfect comfort food, look no further than black bean soup. This meal is a must for cold weather and is bound to uplift the spirit. When making black bean soup, you need to grind the beans.

After grinding, you can add aromatics, vegetables, and spices of your liking. Mix everything together in a pot and add stock or water. Black bean soup is a light yet hearty meal for the dinner table.

What Are the Nutrients Present in Black Beans?

Black beans have extremely high fiber and protein content. They’re also rich in vitamin B9, which helps promote healthy pregnancies. Beans also have high iron content and support our immune and skeletal systems. So it’s no wonder that black beans are a staple. They’re cheap, abundant, and nutrient-packed.

What Are the Health Benefits of Black Beans?

There are many benefits of adding black beans to your diet. Its nutrients help boost almost every part of your body system. Let’s talk about the specific ways black beans can enrich your health:

Weight Loss

While black beans don’t directly contribute to weight loss, they can help. This is because of its high fiber content. Eating black beans will fill your stomach almost immediately. 

By adding this ingredient to your diet, you’ll be able to lessen your calorie and sugar intake. However, you’ll still be getting your much-needed energy for the day. Black beans can also help keep your appetite or cravings away.

Heart Health

Since black beans are rich in fiber, this same nutrient aids the heart. These beans contain anti-inflammatory nutrients that help regulate blood pressure. Black beans also contain calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients are beneficial for good heart health.

Gut Health

Another factor that’s worth mentioning is the black beans’ resistant starch. This type of starch is hard to break down in the gut, which starts the production of good bacteria. This good gut bacteria then helps regulate the overall conditions of the intestines.

Low Sugar

Black beans are also low in sugar. They’re a good substitute for carbs, especially if you have diabetes. The rich fiber content in black beans can also help prevent diabetes.

Anti-Cancer

Black beans are also believed to have anti-cancer properties. This is because of its fiber and folate contents. It may also contain selenium, a mineral commonly found in black beans. It helps prevent the production and spreading of cancer cells.

What Are the Risks of Consuming Black Beans?

Now that we’ve gone through the pros let’s talk about the cons of black beans. As the saying goes, “too much of everything is dangerous.” The same goes for black beans. Fortunately, there aren’t many downsides to eating beans. Here are a few:

Extra Gas

Beans are notorious for making people extra gassy, and black beans are no exemption. Most beans have complex sugars that are difficult to break down for the human body. Due to this, it leads to the production of intestinal gas.

Discomfort

Eating too many black beans can also cause stomach discomfort. Since they are high in fiber, someone who isn’t used to eating it may feel like their stomach is too heavy or bloated. That’s because the body can’t keep up with digestion. To prevent this, it’s best to slowly introduce black beans into your diet and only in small amounts.

High Sodium

Canned beans also have high sodium content. This is because of the preservatives and salt that keep the beans edible. To prevent consuming too much salt, we recommend buying fresh black beans.

Are Black Beans Good For Losing Weight?

Yes, they can help you feel full fast, since they curbs away your appetite.

Do Black Beans Burn Belly Fat?

No. Black beans don’t burn belly fat, but you’ll feel fuller and have more energy because it’s rich in fiber.

What Are Black Beans Similar To?

Black beans are similar to other legumes like peas, lentils, and peanuts. You might ask what do black beans taste like when paired with legumes or peas. Black beans and legumes make a perfect combination. 

Which Are Healthier, Pinto Or Black Beans?

Pinto beans are healthier because they have more nutrients. On the other hand, black beans have fewer calories.

How Much Weight Can You Lose By Eating Beans?

Eating black beans will not help you lose weight directly. However, if you add it to your diet and pair it with proper exercise, it can definitely aid in weight loss.

Conclusion

Black beans are oval-shaped beans that are only half an inch long. They have black coats with white spots in the center. They come from the family of legumes which also includes lentils and peas.

If you’re wondering what does black beans taste like, they have a mild and subtle flavor. The textures are soft, creamy, and slightly chewy. When it comes to flavors, black beans have earthy and nutty tastes. Black beans are great additions to recipes because they absorb flavors so well.

There are many uses for black beans in cuisine. For one thing, they are mainly used as a meat alternative in most vegan recipes. They are also added to desserts to make them healthier.

Black beans are rich in nutrients. They have high fiber and protein content with not a lot of calories. This way, they are incredibly filling and can help in weight loss.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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