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How to Use a Can of Black Beans for Easy Lunches, Breakfasts, and Even Desserts



Or go all-in: Mustafa recommends a soup that’s pure black beans, like the Cuban classic sopa de frijoles negros. To make it creamier while still maintaining some of the beans al dente, purée half and leave the other half whole. That way you get the best of both worlds.

8. Whip up an unforgettable salad.

Beans in salad is always a win (the extra fiber and protein packs some much-needed heartiness), and black beans are no exception. You’re probably most familiar with eating them in cowboy caviar—black beans with corn, chopped tomatoes, and avocado—which is a backyard BBQ favorite and tasty whether eaten by the forkful or scooped with tortilla chips, Harbstreet says. “But that’s just the starting point, as you can use black beans alone or in combination with other beans for mixed salads,” she says.

For instance, Shariat is a big fan of adding a scoop or two of black beans straight from the can to both hardy and light salad options alike. That could look like serving a roasted-root-vegetable salad with carrots and beets atop a bed of legumes or stirring them into a mix of chopped romaine lettuce with hearts of palm and avocado. “You could add tortilla chips for some crunch or edamame for even more protein,” she adds.

9. Try refried beans with black beans instead of pinto.

Classic Mexican refried beans are made with pinto beans, but you can use black beans for something similar and just as tasty, Mustafa says. While the color will be different, you can use them in all the same ways you would eat the traditional version—whether that’s as a side to a larger main dish or as a dip with chips.

10. Keep them on hand for speedy skillet dinners.

If you’re not sure what to eat for dinner, but you have a can of black beans and a skillet on hand, a quick and satisfying meal is never far away, Harbstreet says. Because the legume has such a neutral taste, it’s a natural pairing for an array of flavor profiles and can be combined with just about anything and turn out great.

That includes leftovers she doesn’t know what to do with, whether that’s a pot of rice or the remains of roasted veggies like onion and zucchini, and even protein sources like ground beef and shredded chicken. Just add whichever spices you prefer and dinner is served—Harbstreet loves using premade taco and enchilada spice mixes, for example. Not only does doing this help her cut down on food waste, but she also never gets bored because the “recipe” is constantly changing.

11. Mix them into chocolate treats.

Adding black beans to brownies to make them more protein- and fiber-rich has been an internet favorite for quite some time, but the legume actually works wonders in a whole host of chocolate-based treats, from whoopie pies to cupcakes, Klynstra says.


We had to ask: No, you won’t really notice the black beans in these desserts, since the chocolate’s rich flavor overpowers anything else, Klynstra says. Just make sure you prep them the right way. “If you want to keep this ingredient secret, I recommend processing or blending the beans until the skins have virtually disappeared,” she says.

12. Or go all out on a black-bean forward dessert.

If you’d prefer to let black beans shine—even in desserts—Harbstreet says you still have some ways to make them sweet without masking their taste or texture. Chè Đậu Đen—a Vietnamese chilled treat consisting of black beans served with coconut milk, crushed ice, and optional toppings like jelly or boba—is one that she particularly enjoys. And there are a number of other Asian-inspired desserts that use a sweetened black bean paste baked into steamed buns, she adds, so you’ll have many an option on hand if you want to go the sweet route with your canned stuff.


Source: Self

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