Black beans (or turtle beans) are tasty and healthy – they are packed with protein and dietary fiber, and are loaded with antioxidants. They are a great choice for diabetics, and could help lower anyone’s risk for cancer and heart attacks. All in all, a lot of goodness is packed into that small package!
I ran across an article in last month’s Real Simple magazine about the top foods you should eat, and of course black beans were on the list. They suggested roasting them in the oven for a crunchy and healthy snack, and I was intrigued – I’ve worked in the natural foods industry for almost 15 years, and I had never heard of anyone preparing beans this way before – I had to try it!
The method is simple – rinse and dry cooked black beans, toss them with some olive oil (a fantastic healthy fat) and your favorite spices, and bake them until they are crispy and dry. Through a little research, I found that they are a popular snack in Korea – you can buy them pre-packaged and seasoned and are popular because they are mild-tasting. If you are looking for big, bold flavors, then this isn’t the snack for you, but if you are looking for a tasty snack that is packed with protein and fiber and is allergen-free (unless you can’t eat legumes!) then look no further.
I found that you can make this recipe using any bean, you just may have to adjust the cooking time. I also found that they soak up a ton of spices – I wanted to make a Cajun version, but that didn’t work out quite like I had planned. I added spice to it before cooking, during cooking, and after cooking, and they never exceeded the “mild” rating from tasters, with the exception of the few “surprise” beans that were eye-watering! If you like spicy snacks, then I would recommend blooming the spice in the oil first to try to amp up the heat. To bloom a spice, you would heat the oil and the spice in a pan over medium heat for just a couple of minutes (until it is fragrant). Let the oil cool before adding them to your beans. I will note that I put about a Tablespoon of granulated garlic (I do love the garlic!) over a couple of cans worth of beans, and they were delicious!
Everyone who tried them liked them, and quite a few tasters went home with cans of beans (it helps that the Westbrae beans are on sale this month!). You can also use dry beans, just be sure to cook them first! These are also great on salads and in burritos.
Roasty-Toasty Black Beans
- Black beans (or your favorite bean) – either a 15 oz can, drained and rinsed OR any amount of soaked and cooked black beans
- Olive Oil for coating beans (about 2 t per can of beans)
- ~ 1-2 t Spices of choice — Garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning, chili powder, sea salt, cumin, etc.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Dry cooked beans with a paper towel.
- Place them in a bowl and drizzle olive oil over them.
- Add desired spices to taste.
- Toss beans with oil and spice(s).
- Spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Take out baking sheet and toss beans. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until beans are crispy.
- Store in an air-tight container for a few days.
This mild-flavored snack is a favorite in Korea, and you can also use it to top salads, etc. Use your imagination!
You can use almost any bean in this recipe — they don’t have to be black beans! Garbanzos, or chickpeas, are the only ones that could be a little too hard (because of their size) to turn into a crunchy snack, but some enjoy that aspect. Cook for closer to an hour if you give them a try.
You will need to use a lot of spices if you want a bolder flavor — be prepared to use more than you think will be necessary! Blooming the hotter spices in oil first will help achieve a stronger flavor. To bloom the spices, add them to the oil and cook over low heat for a couple of minutes. Let oil cool before mixing it with the beans.