Tag Archives: black beans

Interview with Better Bean company

Better-Beans-cooking

Better Bean is a product we love.  We asked them some questions to learn more about their products and how they got started.

How did your company get started?

Better Bean was born and raised in Oregon, starting with founder Keith Kullberg’s original recipe that he created as a young college student at Oregon State University. Seeking a way to enjoy refried beans made with only plant-based ingredients, Keith developed a recipe that quickly became a favorite within his family years later. The only issue – it took nearly an entire day to prepare his beans from scratch!

Noticing that freshly prepared beans were not made available in stores at the time, Keith and his daughters launched Better Bean in local stores and Portland farmers markets in 2010. Now sold nationwide, Better Bean strives to bring easy, tasty, healthy beans to all.

Tell us about the different products you have?

Better Bean offers a variety of freshly prepared, tasty bean products sold in the refrigerated section. Products range from a variety of 15oz beans, such as the Skillet Refried Red Beans, to flavorful 8oz organic bean dips and even 2.5oz single-serve bean dips for snacking. Currently, the 15oz beans are the only product sold in the PNW, but we do hope to launch our 2.5oz single-serves in stores soon.

Can you tell us about the ingredients you use?

We source our ingredients from organic or sustainable farms, as they grow better flavor. Our recipes are naturally delicious and nutrient-rich, not relying on sodium, fat, sugar (or worse, chemical additives) for their robust flavor.

How about certifications?

All of Better Bean products are certified Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, and Vegan.

We know consumers value high-quality, organic products – that’s why Better Bean has recently added a line of 8oz flavorful bean dips and 2.5oz single serve bean dips that are both Certified Organic.

How do you make Better Bean so easy to digest?

To make our beans easy on the digestive system, we have three principles that we follow. First, we use freshly grown beans as they are easier to digest. Then, we soak our beans to activate enzymes that allow our bodies to digest the nutrients beans have to offer. And last but not least, we use our star ingredient – apple cider vinegar – to break down indigestible sugars and help digestion.

We’re all busy these days. How is Better Bean making their products convenient to enjoy?

With busy schedules, we know it can be hard to find a snack that is both quick and healthy. We have created a line of 2.5oz single serve bean dips that make for easy on-the-go snacking. We even have a convenient snack pack that comes with our Serrano and Onion Black Bean Dip and multigrain crackers.

How can people use Better Bean products in their everyday life?

Beans are a great source of plant-based protein and can be a part of any meal! Whether you enjoy them as an appetizer with tortilla chips, as the star of your main course in a burrito bowl or tacos, or as a side dish that pulls the meal together – beans have a way of being extremely versatile.

I understand Better Bean products are available in Safeway, PCC Community Markets and other local groceries. Thank you for your great products.

Delicious Black Bean recipes

Black BeansBlack beans are small, black, shiny beans, packed with protein, fiber, iron, and various minerals, plus they are loaded with antioxidants. They have a delicious smoky flavor.

They can be purchased dried, in packets or from bulk bins, or precooked in cans.  Canned beans are more convenient, and very little is lost nutritionally, so they are handy to keep in your pantry. Choose a brand which doesn’t add extra salt or other additives.

Black beans can be added to many different soups and stews.  They can be used in burritos, served with rice, or as a topping for a baked potato. They can also be made into a tasty dip.

Mexican Black Bean Salad

This salad makes a handy lunch and leftovers are equally delicious the next day. For an especially quick meal, you can use a 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Enjoy the cilantro in this dish or substitute parsley if you prefer.

Serves 6

½ pound potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen corn
1½ cups cooked black beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 radishes, thinly sliced
5 scallions, chopped
¾ cup medium-hot salsa
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup low-sodium tomato juice
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 avocado, chopped into bite-sized pieces

In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until nearly tender. Add the carrots and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the corn, stir, then pour the vegetables into a colander. Rinse under cold water to quickly cool the vegetables and stop the cooking process. Drain well.

Combine the black beans, red pepper, radishes and scallions in a medium serving bowl. Add the potatoes, carrots and corn.

Combine the salsa, cilantro, tomato juice, lime juice and olive oil in a medium bowl. Mix well and pour over the vegetables. Toss gently but thoroughly. Before serving, top with the avocado.

 

Easy Black bean dip

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)

1 cup salsa (any variety)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Combine beans and salsa in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Add cumin.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Grilled Jicama Rounds with Black Beans – from Grills Gone Vegan

JicamaJicama is a round root vegetable originally from the Mexican peninsula. It’s grown in Central America, the Caribbean, the Andes and South Asia, where it’s a valuable food source. Its texture is similar to a turnip, but the taste when raw is more like an apple. The skin is tough and needs to be peeled. It’s high in fiber, and helps promote good bacteria in the gut. It’s also a valuable source of vitamin C, and includes some B vitamins, potassium and other minerals.  Since it’s low in calories, it’s a great food to snack on.

This recipe is from Grills Gone Vegan, by Tamasin Noyes, reprinted with permission.

Grills Gone Vegan_low resYield 6 servings. Advance prep: Marinate the jicama for 1 hour.

Marinated Jicama

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon liquid smoke

1 jicama, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds

Black Bean Topping

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 carrot, shredded

½ poblano chile, seeded and minced

3 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt

Ground pepper

1 avocado, diced, for garnish

To prepare the jicama, put the tamari, vinegar, oil, and liquid smoke in a 13 x 9-inch nonreactive baking pan and stir to combine. Add the jicama and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, turning the jicama occasionally.

To prepare the topping, put the beans, carrot, chile, onion, vinegar, garlic, oil, tamari, and oregano in a medium bowl. Stir gently, taking care not to crush the beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To grill the jicama and assemble the rounds, preheat a grill, grill pan, or electric grill to medium-high heat.

Lightly oil the grill with canola oil. Put the jicama on the grill, reserving the marinade. Cook until marked, about 4 minutes, while occasionally basting with the marinade. Turn over and cook in the same fashion until the other side is marked, about 3 minutes longer. (If using an electric grill, keep it open and cook a few minutes longer if necessary.)

Put the jicama on serving plates and top each round with a heaping ¼ cup of the bean mixture and a few pieces of the avocado.