Canned black beans refer to the beans which have been canned in brine or salt solution. Characterized by a strong flavor and a color that is reddish black in nature, the black bean is a versatile bean that can be used in a variety of hot and cold recipes. These cannedblack beans are a welcome addition to many casseroles, both for the flavour and the dash of colour that the beans add to the presentation of the dish. Canned beans provide convenience when you are short of time or have forgotten to soak the beans a night before. Their only drawback is the salt content, but these beans can be used in combinations with other unsalted ingredients to reduce the salt taste. Canned beans need to only be heated briefly for hot recipes while they can be used as is for salads or prepared cold dishes like black bean salad.
How to select
While selecting the canned black kidney beans, look carefully at the nutritional labelling and the expiry date. Avoid selecting the cans which are bulging or dented (may cause food poisoning) or if the cans appear to be rusted or leaking.
· Add to vegetable soups, including the classic Italian minestrone; mix with tinned tuna, French beans, red onion, a little grated parmesan and dress with olive oil and lemon juice for a store cupboard salad; or stew with sage, garlic and tomatoes for a winter casserole
· Combine cooked black beans with black beans and white beans to make a colorful three bean salad. Mix with tomatoes and scallions and dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
· Serve cooked black beans over a piece of cornbread and top with grated cheese for a twist on the traditional tamale pie.
· In a food processor or blender, combine cooked black beans with garlic, cumin and chili peppers for a delicious spread that can be used as a dip or sandwich filling.
How to store
Black beans are available in supermarkets in both dried and canned form. They can be purchased year round in most parts of the world. They should be evenly coloured and shiny, with a slight red or brown colour. As with most other beans, they should be stored in an airtight glass container in cool dark place to preserve them. Canned beans should be refrigerated after the can has been opened and used within 2-4 days.
· Unlike canned vegetables, which have lost much of their nutritional value, there is little difference in the nutritional value of canned black beans and those we cook yourself.
· Canned black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fibre, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, kidney beans' high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycaemia
· Black beans, like other beans, are rich in soluble and insoluble fibre, folate , calcium and magnesium. They also trace amounts of iron and potassium.
Low(less than 55)