Black beans are a staple in our house. Black beans are not only a great source of fiber and protein, but they also supply kids with much needed iron and folate! Children ages 4-8 should be getting 200mcg of folate per day, and 1 cup of black beans provides 256mcg! Folate is a nutrient so essential, that it’s been supplemented in our cereals and juices found in grocery stores. But black beans is a natural source of this protective B Vitamin, so eat up!
So, how do we get beans into our diet? Two simple ways:
First, we cook a lot of beans and store them in the freezer.
With hundreds of pounds of dry black beans in our food storage, there is never a reason to get canned beans. They are cheaper to buy dry, we usually can get dried beans for $.68/lb. Plus, they are so easy to prepare. All we do is
- Dump about 4 cups of dried beans into the slow cooker.
- Cover with water, till the water reaches 2-3 inches above the beans.
- Turn on low and cook for about 5-6 hours.
Then, we portion the beans into freezer safe bags and freeze!
Tip: Freeze them flat on a cookie sheet, so they are stackable after they are frozen.
Last- Remove one bag and let sit on the counter until we are ready to use it.
On the counter, I take it out about 4 hours before I intend to use the beans.
We have a billion uses for black beans, but our favorite easy, healthy, and delicious dinner only takes about 5 minutes to put together, Black Beans and Rice! For this, we simply dump all ingredients into a rice cooker, and then set it to cook. No chopping, one dish, simple dinner- Which is perfect for Wednesday nights like yesterday, because we all had to be at the church for activities pretty early.
So, we dumped:
- 1 bag of our black beans (which had 11/2 cup of beans)
- 1 1/2 cup of rice
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 can diced tomatoes
All into a rice cooker. Then we turned it on the rice cooker and walked away! We all love this meal!
Top it with a little cheese and avocado and serve with home baked corn chips!
You could also, pack the rice into your bowl or ramekin, then turn it upside down for a mound like this:
Guess what else we like to do with our beans? Blend it up and use it to spread pizza!!
- 1 1/2 cup black beans
- 1 1/2 cup rice
- 3 cups broth I use chicken broth
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- Dump all ingredients into a rice cooker.
- Set to cook until all liquid is absorbed (varies depending on your rice cooker)