#57 – Creamy Coconut Black Beans

#57 – Creamy Coconut Black Beans

This is Recipe Roundup, episode 57. For this week’s recipe, I decided to do something with beans! Beans can be a great source of protein if you are forgoing meat or just looking for a cheaper option.

Beans, like most plant foods, contain a variety of anti-nutrients that can make digestion and absorption difficult for humans if they are not prepared the right way. Often, we think of plant-based foods as a safer healthier option – but they are part of the food chain too and have plenty of defenses against being eaten! This is particularly true for non-fruit parts of plants. While it is generally beneficial for the survival of a plant species to have its fruit eaten and the seeds contained scattered about to propagate, the stalks, leaves, and seeds of the same species HAVE to stay intact for this reproduction to take place.

Beans and other legumes are seeds and contain significant amounts of phytic acid and lectins. These compounds can bind with essential vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc and prevent absorption by the body. Luckily they are also water soluble, so in order to decrease and neutralize the amount of these anti-nutrients, we soak the beans overnight!

Today’s recipe is with black beans. I find that black beans have a nice and solid flavor and texture compared to other legumes. They are easy to season and enjoy with rice or on tacos. You can even mash them up and turn them into little burger patties! But today we will be keeping it simple with a versatile cook. The coconut milk lends extra richness to the final product and helps support the warming spices we will be using.

Ingredients
2 cups of black beans
1 can of unsweetened, full fat coconut milk
½ an onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
5 slices of fresh ginger or 2 tsp of ground ginger
1 tbsp of smoked paprika
1 tbsp of cumin
1 tsp of cinnamon
A few shakes of red pepper flakes
1 tbsp of salt
2 tsp of black pepper
Fish Sauce – to taste

Soak your beans in clean water overnight!
Drain and discard the soaking water. Mix in your coconut milk and add enough fresh water that there’s two inches of water clearance above the beans.
Mix in all of the other seasonings and bring to a boil.
Lower to a simmer uncovered for about 2 hours or until the beans soften.
Bring the heat up to boil down the remaining liquid into a thick sauce.
Enjoy with a few splashes of fish sauce and some fresh cilantro or mint leaves!

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