Cooking Dried Black Beans

Cooking dried beans instead of using the canned variety can be a little time consuming, but the beans will be much more flavorful and will retain all of their nutrients. If you cook up a big pot on the weekend, you can then divide the beans up into containers and use them for future use. From a single, one-cup serving of black beans you get nearly 15 grams of fiber, well over half of the Daily Value and the same amount consumed by the average U.S. adult in one day, and 15 grams of protein, which is nearly one third of the Daily Value and equivalent to the amount in just 2 ounces of a meat like chicken or a fish like salmon. When you compare the cost of dried beans to meat, beans are an exceptional source of protein and other nutrients.

There is a debate whether one should toss out the soaking liquid before cooking the beans. By doing so, you are discarding some of those amazing nutrients discussed above, but you also are discarding flatulence-related substances like raffinose, and stachyose. I do keep my soaking liquid, but it up to you if you prefer to discard it or not.

When buying dried beans, try to buy from a source that you know has a high turnover such as a health food store rather than a small grocery store where the beans are hidden somewhere on the back shelves and can be very old. The older your beans are, the longer they will take to cook.

Why Healthy

  • The high quantity of both protein and fiber in black beans help to move food through the stomach to the large intestine at a healthier pace supporting a healthy digestive system. The high fiber content also helps to curb hunger cravings.
  • Black beans have the highest levels of antioxidants of all of the common beans tested, as much as the antioxidant-rich cranberry.
  • Black beans are one of the best sources around for the trace mineral molybdenum which serves the useful purpose of breaking down the sulfites found in foods which some people are sensitive to.
  • Black beans are also a good source of the minerals magnesium which helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, iron to help maintain healthy red blood cells, and Folate, or vitamin B6, which is very important to pregnant women in particular.



Cooking Seasoned Black Beans From Dried

Yield: Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 2 hrs 30 mins


1 Pound Dried Black Beans
2 Quarts Water
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Peeled & Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
Black Pepper
Sea Salt

Adapted from The New York Times Recipes For Health - Simmered Black Beans


Pick through the beans briefly, discarding any cracked or broken ones.
Presoak the beans overnight in a large bowl covered in cool water.
The next morning, either throw out the soaking liquid, or retain it (see notes above).
In a large stockpot, heat the oil, and cook the onion over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until translucent.
Add the beans and soaking liquid if using, adding fresh water if needed to cover the beans by at least one inch.
If not using the soaking liquid, add water to cover the beans by at least one inch of water.
Add the bay leaves, oregano, and black pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for an hour and a half.
Add salt to taste, and cook another hour to an hour and a half or until the beans are tender.
Cool to room temperature, and use the beans in your favorite recipes.


One Response to “Cooking Dried Black Beans”

  1. Peggy Smith — December 28, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

    Thank You for the black bean recipe. I started buying the dried black beans to CAn instead of buying them because of the high sodium content.
    I will now use your recipe because of added ingred, for flavor.

    Love your healthy take on recipes.Thank You


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