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  • Writer's pictureTamara Berry

Black Beans


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 pound dried black beans

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit or reduce if sensitive to spice)

8 cups water, more if needed

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, optional

1 tablespoon lime juice


Sort through the beans and pick out any rocks or debris. Rinse the beans and transfer them to a large pot. Soak overnight.

When you’re ready to start cooking the beans, pour them into a colander to drain. Then heat your olive oil in a large pot, add the chopped onion and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and stir continuously to keep the garlic from burning.

Next, add your drained black beans, water, cumin, olive oil, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender. Depending on the freshness of your beans, it could take up to 2½ hours. Add more liquid to the pot, as needed, to keep your beans submerged.

Check the seasoning, adding chili powder, oregano, and more salt and pepper, if desired. Let the beans cool in the cooking liquid. The beans will thicken a bit as they cool. Just before serving, stir in lime juice, and cilantro, if desired.

Good to Know:

The antioxidants, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates in black beans make them nutritionally powerful. A diet rich in beans can help your body to process calories more effectively. Black beans don’t cause a spike in blood sugar. Studies have actually found the opposite. When people eat black beans with rice, their blood sugar levels tend to be lower than if they only ate rice. For people with diabetes, adding beans to a healthy diet can improve blood sugar control while reducing heart disease risk.


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