Black turtle beans are a variety of common bean in genus Phaselous vulgaris of Fabaceae family. They could be known as different names but often simply called black beans, perhaps most because of its black color.
Black turtle beans are native to America and also cultivated in warm regions around the world. They are especially popular in Latin America, and some Asia countries.
The beans are the annual plants with long pods (8-20cm) and shiny black seeds. Like most of the bean genera, black turtle beans contain high amount of nutrition like vitamin A, K, B6, protein, folate, calcium, potassium, sodium….Their rich flavor is also compared to mushroom.
These beans are very well-known in Latin American cuisine, and are used in national dish of countries. Some of them that could be listed are feijoada of Portugal (also popular in Brazil and some other countries which are former colonies of Portugal), Moros y Cristianos in Cuba, gallo pinto of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, pabellon criollo in Venezuela. They are also used much by the vegetarian.
What is the importance of black turtle beans to our health?
Black turtle beans are one of the type of beans that are widely used because of their good effect to our health. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients contained were believed to help reduce cancer risk, and the strong evidence leads to colon cancer.
The fiber contented in these beans is very helpful to steady the digestion and prevents the constipation.
The fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, phytonutrient together with the lack cholesterol of black turtle beans help to lower blood pressure and heart disease risk.
How to use black turtle beans?
This type or beans in common mostly need to be cooked before eating. For this species, there is an interesting point that the seed still keeps their shape when the cooking finished.
When we wash the beans, we could easy find the damage seeds and remove them for these seeds will float on the surface of the water. To shorten the time of cooking and make black turtle beans easy to be digested, we should soak it 4-8 hours before cook. After soaking, we rinse the beans and roast them in about 10 minutes, slight boil in 2 minutes and then boil with water in 1-2 hours. During the cooking, we shouldn’t add spices or sugar, because it will make the beans tough and the cooking time will be longer. One thing is that if after boiling, we separate the cooked beans and the soup, then cook the beans with spice or sugar as the recipe we want, and after that re-add the bean soup (if needed), the flavor of bean will be more increased.
If you don’t have much time, you could use the pressure cooker or the canned black bean.
How to stored black bean?
For family usage, dried black turtle beans should be stored in an airtight container in cool, dry and dark place. This will keep the bean in months. For cooked beans, put in covered container and place in the fridge then you can keep them in about three days, but the beans could turn tough.
For the large amount, like most of beans, they should be packed and stored in cool storage with parchment, and separate with the ground, wall and roof storage.