In my healthy, vegan, urban-naturalista world, any time is black bean time!

Whether dining out while traveling in Mexico, Brazil and the Caribbean, or trying
to find a suitable vegan protein source in predominantly, non-vegan-friendly
restaurants–a savory black bean dish is often on the menu in some way, shape
or form.
And thank goodness for that!
There are good reasons why black beans and other legumes are often staples in the
diets of people all over the world.
Whether whole, stewed, mashed, refried or pureed, this cost-effective bean is
extremely filling, nutritious and delicious.

The Health Benefits of Black Beans

A Healthy, Hearty Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe Plus 13 More Ways to Enjoy Them
High in protein and fiber, low in fat, and rich in several essential vitamins and minerals–
black beans are considered one of  our healthiest foods.
For instance, one cup provides 20 percent of the RDA for iron and 5 percent of the RDA
for calcium.
Black beans are a good source for magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, as well as
the B vitamins thiamin and folate, or folic acid.
The powerful nutrients in black beans help:
-support good health and fight chronic disease
-reduce blood cholesterol
-maintain healthy blood sugar levels
-prevent diabetes, diverticulitis and other gastrointestinal issues
-prevent constipation
-prevent heart disease
-fight cancer and other chronic diseases due to the phytochemicals
The USDA recommends eating at least three cups of beans every week to
derive these benefits.

Vegan Black Bean Vegetable Soup

A Healthy, Hearty Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe Plus 13 More Ways to Enjoy Them

In view of the tasty and nutritious nature of this legume, I am constantly improvising new
recipes for black beans and black bean soup.
Here’s my favorite recipe for a thick, satisfying black bean soup.
It sticks to your ribs and warms your insides on cool days and nights , but don’t get me
wrong, I adore  black beans any way and any time of year.
A Healthy, Hearty Vegan Black Bean Soup Plus 13 Ways to Enjoy Them

Ingredients

1lb bag of organic black beans, washed and soaked overnight
3 stalks organic celery, sliced
Organic onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
Organic carrots, cut into small chunks
Organic parsley, chopped
Organic shitake, portabello or button mushrooms, sliced
1 piece kelp or kombu seaweed, broken into one inch piecees
Sea salt to taste
1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil
1/3 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos
Filtered or spring water to cover

A Healthy, Hearty Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe Plus 13 More Ways to Enjoy Them

Photo source: Google Creative Commons

Directions

Add black beans to a large pot.
Layer with chopped vegetables.
Cover with water.
Add sea salt, Bragg Aminos and seasonings.
Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer until lentils are soft.
Allow soup to sit for a couple of hours before serving.
The flavors get stronger with time.
Serve in soup bowls.
Garnish with chopped scallions, sweet red peppers,  avocado cubes or
sweet red peppers, if desired.
Now just taste that first spoonful and sigh! Oh my!
This hearty, healthy soup is great to carry in a thermos for lunch, along with
an avocado-topped garden salad or a side of salsa and whole grain chips.
If you love black beans as much as I do, you’ll want to try these other variations
on the black bean cuisine as well:

Other Delicious Ways to Enjoy Black Beans

*Prepare a soul-satisfying, latin-inspired meal of black beans and rice
garnished with scallions, red peppers and crush red pepper.
*Mash up a delicious black bean dip with black beans, guacamole,
chopped tomatoes, diced onions and cilantro.
*Top a baked potato with black beans and scallions instead of
sour cream.
*A hearty bowl of black bean chili will warm you up on cold days
or anytime of the year.
*Replace high fat, refried pinto beans with seasoned, mashed black
beans with coconut oil and spices.
*Create hearty black bean stews with all kinds of vegetables such as pumpkin,
sun dried tomatoes, onions, corn, zucchini, mushrooms, potatoes and your
favorite spices.

More Tasty Black Bean Recipes to Try

A Healthy, Hearty Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe Plus 13 More Ways to Enjoy Them

Sink your teeth into this tasty and amazing Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burger recipe from Cookie & Kate
Photo source: Website screen shot

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers

A Healthy, Hearty Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe Plus 13 More Ways to Enjoy Them

I can’t get enough of this Vegetarian Black Bean Expresso Chili from The Kitchn.com
Photo source: Website screen shot

Vegetarian Black Bean Expresso Chili

And now for a sweet, decadent black bean dessert:

A Healthy, Hearty Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe Plus 13 More Ways to Enjoy Them

Satisfy your sweet tooth with these Black Bean Brownies from The Happy Herbivore.
Photo source: Website screen shot

Low Fat Vegan Black Bean Brownies

Plus, more amazing recipes to make from across the blogosphere including:

A Healthy, Hearty Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe Plus 13 More Ways to Enjoy Them

What’s better in a pinch than a 15 minute Black Bean Salad from The World’s Healthiest Foods.
Photo source: Website screen shot

15 Minute Black Bean Salad

Plus, two more delightful dishes from The World’s Healthiest Foods:
Zesty Mexican Soup
Spicy Black Bean Burritos
These are just a few examples of the versatility of black bean cuisine.
Of course, there are hundreds more black bean recipes to explore.
I’d like to try them all while I’m alive!
That’s a great idea: Stay tuned for Great Global Black Bean Recipe Challenge!

Want to Learn More About the Benefits of Beans?

A Healthy, Hearty Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe Plus 13 More Ways to Enjoy Them

Did you know that a bean is actually a seed! They are formed in pods by a group of flowering plants
called the Fabacae.


Curious about the science behind beans and legumes?
Find out more about the basics of beans and legumes, flatulence, health and nutritional benefits–as well as tips for
preparing delectable bean dishes–by reading  
at Thrive Cuisine.
 
 
What are your favorite ways to prepare black beans? Share your recipes and tips with us.
Urban Naturale.com: Living healthy, green and natural by design
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