Black beans came to Europe when Spanish conquistadors returned from their voyages to the New World. Spanish and Portuguese traders carried them into Africa and Asia. Black beans have a rich, smoky flavor that has been compared to mushrooms; they have a velvety texture, yet hold their shape well during cooking. They are an important source of protein in the cuisines of Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.
- unlike canned vegetables, canned beans retain all nutritional value
- high in saponins that lower cholesterol levels by preventing reabsorption into the bloodstream
- as seeds, beans are nutrient reservoirs - energy, protein, vitamin, and mineral accumulators
- studies of adults over 70 indicate that bean consumption increases longevity