Are you looking for a quick, easy, healthy, and nutritious meal? Canned black beans are the perfect option. They are affordable, easy to store, and versatile, making them a staple in many households. This article will show you how to cook canned black beans and share some of our favorite recipes.
Before we get started, let’s talk about the benefits of eating black beans. These little legumes are packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. They can help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote healthy digestion. Plus, they are naturally gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
Now that we know how nutritious canned black beans are let’s dive into how to cook them.
Can I Freeze Cooked Black Beans?
Yes, cooked black beans can be frozen. Allow them to cool down, transfer them to an airtight container or ziplock bag, label with the date and contents, and store in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
Steps to Cook Canned Black Beans
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
To cook canned black beans, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of chopped onions
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
Step 2: Drain and Rinse the Beans
Open the can of black beans and pour them into a colander. Rinse the beans thoroughly with cold water to remove any excess salt and eliminate the slimy liquid that often comes with canned beans.
Step 3: Sauté the Onions and Garlic
Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
Step 4: Add the Beans and Spices
Add the drained and rinsed black beans to the saucepan with the onions and garlic. Stir in the cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you like cilantro, add it now.
Step 5: Simmer the Beans
Bring the black beans to a simmer and let them cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer you simmer them, the thicker and creamier they will become. If the beans start to dry, add a water or vegetable broth splash.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy
Once the black beans are fully cooked, turn off the heat and let them cool for a few minutes. Then, serve them as a side dish, in a burrito or taco, or as a base for a delicious soup. You can also store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tips to Cook Canned Black Beans
Here are some tips for cooking canned black beans:
- Always drain and rinse canned black beans before cooking to remove excess salt and metallic taste.
- Add seasonings and aromatics such as onions, garlic, and spices to enhance the flavor of the beans.
- Use broth instead of water to add more flavor to the beans.
- Simmer the beans on low heat for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Stir the beans occasionally while cooking to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- If you want a creamier texture, mash some beans with a fork or potato masher.
- Taste the beans and adjust the seasoning as needed before serving.
- You can store leftover cooked black beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze them later.
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How to serve cooked Canned Black Beans
Here are some ways to serve cooked, canned black beans:
- As a side dish: Seasoned black beans make a great side dish for many meals, including grilled chicken or fish, tacos, burritos, and salads.
- In soups and stews: Cooked black beans can be added to soups and stews for added protein and texture.
- In dips and spreads: Pureed black beans can be used as a base for dips and spreads, such as hummus or black bean dip.
- In rice bowls: Layer cooked black beans over rice and top with your favorite vegetables, cheese, and sauces for a delicious rice bowl.
- As a vegetarian or vegan protein source: Cooked black beans are a great vegetarian or vegan protein source and can be used instead of meat in many recipes.
- As a topping: Sprinkle cooked black beans on top of nachos or baked potatoes for added protein and flavor.
- In chili: Black beans are a classic ingredient and can be added to meat and vegetarian recipes.
How to Store Cooked Black Beans
Here’s a brief explanation on how to store cooked black beans:
- Allow the cooked black beans to cool down to room temperature before storing.
- Transfer the cooked black beans to an airtight container or a ziplock bag.
- Label the container or bag with the date and contents to track how long the beans have been stored.
- Store the cooked black beans in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months.
- If storing in the freezer, it’s best to divide the beans into small portions so that you can easily thaw only what you need.
- To thaw frozen cooked black beans, transfer them from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow them to thaw overnight.
- You can also thaw frozen cooked black beans in the microwave or place them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes.
How to Cook Canned Black Beans in the Microwave?
Here’s a brief explanation on how to cook canned black beans in the microwave:
- Drain and rinse the canned black beans and transfer them to a microwave-safe dish.
- Add enough water or broth to cover the beans by about an inch.
- Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape.
- Microwave the beans on high for about 3-4 minutes, then stir.
- Continue to microwave in 1-2 minute intervals, stirring in between, until the beans are heated and tender.
- Depending on your microwave, cooking the canned black beans may take 5-6 minutes.
- Once the beans are cooked, carefully remove the dish from the microwave and let them cool for a minute before serving.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you need to cook canned black beans?
Canned black beans are already cooked and can be eaten straight out of the can. However, some prefer to cook them further to enhance flavor and texture or incorporate them into a recipe.
Cooking canned black beans can also help to reduce the sodium content in the beans by rinsing them and adding fresh water. So while you don’t need to cook canned black beans, you may choose to do so depending on your preference and how you plan to use them.
How do you cook plain black beans from a can?
Here’s a brief explanation on how to cook plain black beans from a can:
- Drain and rinse the canned black beans in a colander.
- Transfer the beans to a pot and add enough water or broth to cover the beans by about an inch.
- Add any desired seasonings or aromatics, such as onions, garlic, and spices.
- Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the beans are tender.
- Stir the beans occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the beans are cooked, taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.
- For a creamier texture, you can also mash some beans with a fork or potato masher.
- Leftover cooked black beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
What is the fastest way to cook black beans?
A pressure cooker is the fastest way to cook black beans. After soaking the beans overnight, cook them in a pressure cooker for 15-20 minutes. This method significantly reduces the cooking time compared to boiling them on the stovetop for 1-2 hours. However, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use a slow cooker or an instant pot to speed up the cooking process.
Do canned black beans need to be soaked?
Canned black beans do not need to be soaked because they are fully cooked and ready to eat. Simply rinse them in a colander to remove any excess sodium or other preservatives, and they are ready to be added to your favorite dish. However, if you are using dried black beans, they must be soaked overnight to reduce cooking time and make them easier to digest.
Are canned black beans healthy?
Yes, canned black beans can be a healthy food choice. They are a good source of protein, fiber, iron, and other essential nutrients. Canned black beans are also convenient and versatile, making them an easy ingredient to include in various recipes.
However, it’s important to choose low-sodium options and rinse the beans before use to reduce the sodium content. Additionally, if you have dietary restrictions or concerns, it’s best to check the label and consult a healthcare professional before consuming canned black beans.
What happens if you don’t rinse canned black beans?
If you don’t rinse canned black beans, you may consume excess sodium and other preservatives in the canning liquid. Rinsing canned black beans in a colander before using them can help remove some of the sodium and other additives and any dirt or debris that may be present. Additionally, rinsing the beans can improve their texture and taste, removing the starchy liquid that can make them mushy or bland.
In conclusion, cooking canned black beans is a simple and straightforward process that can be done on the stovetop, in the microwave, or in a slow cooker.
By draining and rinsing the beans, adding them to a pot with water or broth, and seasoning them with herbs, spices, and aromatics, you can create a delicious and nutritious dish that can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for other recipes.
Cooking canned black beans also allows you to control the amount of sodium and other additives that you consume, making it a healthier choice than using canned black beans straight out of the can.
With these tips and techniques, you can easily incorporate canned black beans into your diet and enjoy their many health benefits.