We're pretty keen on black beans here at Swanson. They show up in expert queries (Are Black Beans a Superfood?), recipes (Black Bean Burgers), and the Swanson Health blog (Ben's 5-Part Exposé). Considering they're rich in fiber, have a low glycemic index, and are packed with antioxidants, minerals, protein and iron, it's no surprise we love this nutritious, natural organic food.
Early last month, I wrote about an article in Bicycling magazine that discussed nutrition for cyclists. The article stressed the importance of eating real food with real nutritional value, saying, "Cyclists should eat a diet rich in iron, Vitamin B12 and folic acid... These nutrients help form healthy red blood cells, which ... enhance endurance." The article suggested a beef & veggie stir fry which I'm sure is awesome, but being a vegetarian, I opted for one of my favorite stand-by meals: a Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burrito. What I love about this recipe is that it's healthy, hearty, and makes a big batch -- I cook once and I've got lunch for the entire week.
In addition to the natural health powerhouse that is the black bean, this recipe features sweet potatoes. They've got a pretty impressive resumé, too, being a natural source of vitamins A, C and B6, fiber, potassium, copper, iron, and antioxidants. You can read more about them over at World's Healthiest Foods. Bottom line: eating nutritious, home-cooked meals is one of the best natural health choices you can make for you and your family.
For your dining pleasure, here's the Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burrito Recipe:
- 1 can black beans, drained - I used Eden Foods Organic Black Beans
- 1 onion (white or yellow), chopped
- 1 medium-large sweet potato
- 1-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced or crushed
- Organic olive oil
- Chili powder
- 1 Tbsp orange juice
Although similar ingredients are used in each preparation, you're supposed to cook the beans and the sweet potatoes separately. Again, this makes a big batch, so you'll need two large and fairly deep pans. Also, this is one of those "not an exact science" type of recipes -- nearly everything is "to taste" so have some taste-testing spoons handy.
BEANS: Saute half the onion and as much garlic as you like in a little olive oil. Add one can of black beans. Then add as much or as little cumin, chili powder, cayenne as you like, plus salt to taste. Stir in one tablespoon of orange juice and cook until blended and warm.
SWEET POTATO: Chop the sweet potato into small chunks. Saute the other half of the onion in a little olive oil. Add the sweet potato, plus cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and salt to taste. Add water as necessary to keep it all from sticking to the pan while it cooks until blended and soft.
When both the beans and the sweet potatoes are ready, grab a big bowl and mix everything together. Pile the mixture in a burrito wrap and enjoy!