Research has shown that consuming cooked black beans leads to lowered risk and incidence of breast, colon, liver, lung, and prostate cancers. The exact mechanism of this phenomenon is unknown, but it is suspected that the phytochemicals of black beans, including phenolic compounds (flavonoids and tannins), phytic acid, triterpenes, and phytosterols may be responsible for their anticancer properties.
The mighty black bean
In Brazil, where more black beans are grown than any other country in the world, beans have been given an exclusive place on the Brazilian Food Pyramid. They are viewed as being so vital to their nation’s health that the country’s food pyramid recommends that one-half cup of beans be consumed at least once every day. Recent research linking bean intake to lower risk of Type II diabetes, various types of cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer were some of the key factors used by the Brazilian government in establishing their bean intake recommendations.
Research has shown that black beans are some of the most phytonutrient-condensed foods on the market today. Phytonutrients like lycopene, lutein, and capsaicin are chemicals that help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and are have been long heralded to provide significant health benefits to humans.
The nutrients and associated percentages of the recommended daily values in one cup of cooked black beans include: molybdenum (172 percent); folate (64 percent); fiber (59.8 percent); tryptophan (56.2 percent); manganese (38 percent); protein (30.4 percent); magnesium (30.1 percent); vitamin B1 (28 percent); phosphorus (24 percent); iron (20 percent).
Daddy Z’s gluten-free chocolate black bean brownies
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30-45 min. Stand: 15 min. Servings: Eight
Try this on your friends! Give them a brownie and ask them how they like it. After they tell you how great it tastes, tell them that they’re made out of black beans. They’ll never believe you. The beans cook in such a way that gives the brownie a chocolate chunk look and feel. They taste like double-chocolate chunk brownies and some even think the chunks are nuts.
1/2 cup coconut milk
4 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1 tbsp vanilla
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained) or 15 ounces of soaked dry black beans
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/cup honey or coconut crystals
1/2 tbsp stevia
Dash of sea salt
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. In two medium bowls, mix dry and wet ingredients separately in the order listed above.
3. In large bowl, mix the dry and wet mixtures together. More coconut milk may need to be added depending on the flour you use. Gluten-free alternatives tend to be heavier and require more liquids. With coconut flour, for instance, you’ll want to use about a cup milk to achieve that perfect brownie-batter consistency.
4. Pour into 8×8 greased baking pan. (Try greasing it with coconut oil. Works great and adds a nice flavor).
5. Cook for 30-45 minutes depending on the flour you use. Test with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean.
6. Store in refrigerator.
• If your dietary restrictions prevent cocoa, use carob powder instead. Same measurements apply.
• Sometimes I like some grated coconut flakes or walnuts in my brownies. If you add some dry ingredients, you may need to add a little extra coconut oil and milk. Don’t go overboard. A little goes a long way.
• Be creative! Have fun!
Sources for this article include: