Best Black Beans
The best black beans, for me, are the ones you cook yourself. Don’t get a can, don’t get a jar, get a bag of dry black beans. Soak them overnight with a teaspoon of baking soda, pour away the soaking liquid, and then add new water and boil. Boil until they are soft, and keep the cooking liquid as black bean broth. Serve the beans right away, in salads, burritos or whatever else.
Freshly cooked black beans just can’t compare. They have the best, richest flavour and texture, and a fresher flavour. The other wonderful thing about cooking your own black beans is that they give you delicious black bean broth. This broth is not only tasty, but has a lot of health benefits. It has so much antioxidants that some use it as an effective treatment for gout. For the rest of us, those antioxidants could help prevent future diseases! This amazing broth is for me one half of the pleasure of black beans, and you don’t get it when you buy black beans from a can.
The best black beans are of course the organic ones. Not only are organic foods best in general, both for our health and for the environment, but organic black beans are actually relatively quite cheap. It’s cheaper to eat organic black beans than to eat organic fruit, and you get rather a lot of beans out of a single pack once they’ve absorbed all their water.
So don’t buy black beans in latino supermarkets if you can avoid it. Look for them in organic supermarkets. They are usually quite easy to find in such places, I guess because there is a lot of demand for beans from vegetarians, who are more likely to be found in organic supermarkets.
If you really want the best black beans, though, you may have to grow them yourself. Organic is not a guarantee of perfectly well grown black beans; there are many practices that are “organic” but not healthy, such as using pesticides produced by bacteria. These pesticides are “natural” but they are not really much healthier than chemical pesticides.
If you want to grow black beans yourself, you might want to look for an heirloom variety. These are the best black beans as they were selected for flavour, not maximum yield. You can find some of these heirloom varieties on Amazon.
Don’t use pesticides while growing your own black beans. Black beans are susceptible to aphids, but you can get rid of aphids organically by buying a box of ladybirds/ladybugs and setting them loose on the pests. The pretty beetles will eat the aphids away.
Apart from that, I’d say the best black beans are those which you make at home, in simple, wholesome recipes. Black bean chili is an excellent choice, or you can also make black bean soup, black bean salsa, or black bean burgers. For the best use of the black bean’s intense flavour, I recommend black bean soup. This holds all the flavour of the bean as well as the flavour of the bean’s cooking water, a very rich stock. It’s one of the most popular black bean recipes, and for a good reason: I think it’s the best black bean recipe.