We’ve spent a lot of time in Colombia and one of their traditional dishes that I’ve come to love are beans or frijoles that have been slow-cooked all day. They are typically served with rice, avocado, plantain, ground beef and chicharron (deep-fried pork). I made my own version the other day (thanks to a recipe from my Colombian bestie) and they turned out great!
Beans or legumes are important to include in your diet because they’re a complex carbohydrate. Complex carbs, unlike refined carbs, don’t spike your blood sugar (this leads to sugar & carb cravings, belly fat and inflammation) and provide your body with energy over a longer period of time. Beans are also a great source of iron and fibre.
It’a also important to give your body a rest from meat once or twice a week as animal protein can be difficult to digest. Eating vegetarian also helps cut down on the grocery bill – a 900g bag of beans is only $2.50!
This slow cooker black bean recipe was really easy to make, and the beans had great flavour.
Slow Cooker Black Beans
Slightly Adapted from Cafe John Sonia
1 bag (900g) black turtle beans or black beans, picked over to remove broken or wrinkled beans or small stones
6 cups water
1 onion, diced
2-3 whole garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt
- Place the beans in a big bowl, cover with water, agitate the beans a few times to remove any dirt, drain in a colander and rinse again.
- Place black beans, onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaves in a slow cooker. Add water.
- Cook on high for about 3-4 hours, testing after 3 hours. To test doneness, spoon out a few beans and blow on them. If the skins peel back, they beans are ready. Taste just to make sure. If all of the water has been absorbed, add more. Beans must stay completely covered to prevent them from burning. If cooking on low for 6-8 hours, test the beans at the 6 hour point.
- If beans are done, remove from heat and add the salt. Cover for another 20-30 minutes, to absorb the salt. Remove the bay leaf, garlic cloves before using.
- Use immediately, or allow to cool before transferring beans and some of the cooking liquid to a zipper-lock freezer bag or airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze up to 3 months. If freezing, flatten bag in freezer–it makes for easier defrosting. Defrost in warm water.
The first night I made my Black Bean and Goat Cheese Dip and served it with some Late July tortilla chips.
You could also make a black bean hummus or saute them with some organic ground chicken, onions, peppers and cilantro for some Mexican flavours. Tonight I’m going to roast a spaghetti squash and fill the squash shells with the cooked squash, sauteed chicken and black bean mixture (a little twist on this Whole Foods Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans recipe).
If you’ve never tried spaghetti squash or you have and it just doesn’t turn out right, check out The Definite Guide to Perfect Spaghetti Squash. It includes a few different methods and the top 10 spaghetti squash recipes.