Yesterday We took a look at red foods and how delicious they are; and I promised I’d show you the benefits and “yumminess” of another color today. So what color have I randomly selected today…..
Ok so black isn’t part of the rainbow. If anyone says it isn’t in the comments I’ll know you didn’t read :p but it is an important part of the food rainbow. With Our economy/markets becoming more global, various beans, seeds, and spices are more readily available. Before you start adding squid ink to everything (that is not a good idea) check out these three black items first.Black beans: I think it is pretty obvious that black beans are black, but did you know they are a great source of iron and protein? They have over 50% of your DV of Iron needed. People are always trying to find ways to get iron without just eating steak all day (though I do love steak). And as a bonus black beans have less carbs and fat than a lot of other beans. How to get more: well it isn’t like everyone can just eat a bowl full with every meal. You can however add black beans to most soups, chillies (especially as a substitute for kidney beans) and anything in a tortilla. If you enjoy re-fried beans make them out of black beans next time. It taste better, In my opinion, and it tends to cause less, how do you say, “expulsion of air from your rear-end” than there fellow re-fried legumes. I’ll be featuring a recipe later today that has black beans as well if you are still stuck. Vanilla: In case you don’t know vanilla does not actually come out of a bottle and yes it is black. Vanilla grows in vanilla pods and if you have ever had real vanilla ice-cream you probably notice some black spots in it. Those black spots are vanilla and it is more than just a sweet treat. Vanilla has multiple types of Complex B-vitamins which is very important for everyone, especially when it comes to keeping your energy up. Vanilla also has two important minerals in a rather large amount known as, manganese and copper, which help your body produce an important antioxidant. Vanilla even has traces of potassium (yes like bananas), iron, and calcium. Getting more vanilla doesn’t mean eating more ice-cream: This is not an excuse to go crazy in the freezer. Both vanilla beans and extract are easily added to many things. You can of course add it to your desserts but did you know that if you add a splash of vanilla to your french toast mixture it takes it to a whole new level. And you can make your own vanilla sugar which is great to sprinkle on muffins, scones, and even put in your coffee/Hot coco. It is also a great addition to black tea both hot and cold. *One of my fellow bloggers also posted a great vanilla sugar scrub check it out—–>Vanilla Sugar Body Scrub Sesame Seeds: Have you had any sushi lately? have you at least seen some pictures of sushi? Some sushi has black sesame seeds on the rice. Not all sesame seeds are black but those other ones don’t count right now 😉 Other than being extremely old and the origin for the great saying “open sesame,” sesame seeds have an insane amount of copper and manganese in them. They have a significant amount of other important minerals like, iron, calcium, magnesium, thiamine, zinc, and more. They even have two special kinds of fiber that Lower Bad Cholesterol They are so packed with goodness the pod bursts open when mature just to hurry up and share. (that is where ‘open sesame’ came from :O ) The easiest way to “open sesame”: Asking won’t make you any healthier but these two words will; “Sesame oil.” Sesame oil is the best way to get more of that miracle seed. I sometimes sprinkle sesame oil over my un-sauced noodles to give it additional flavor. I even use sesame oil as part of my marinade on steak and mushrooms for a lot of my favorite dishes. You can add a few drops in your soup and even experiment with using it in place of other oils and see what you like best.
Want More Reasons to Join the Dark Side?
There are other important and interesting black foods out there you might want to hunt down. Black Rice, once considered sacred, is quickly dominating the globe; and as I mentioned before you can check out squid ink in noodles (if you are brave enough). Also there is one of my favorite “black” foods, Dark Chocolate; which most people now know is pretty good for you before all that sugar is added. And if you still are unsure, let me ask you this: “when is the last time you had sunflower seeds?” Embrace the darker side of food and maybe tomorrow you’ll decide to do something crazy!