Black beans have no flavor

I love Black Beans out of the can, but would like to cook them from scratch as I do the other beans. I have not found success. They get the proper texture, but never have any flavor (as the canned black beans do).

Why are the canned black beans flavorful and the from-scratch beans very bland?

Thanks so much!
Donna
Rowley, MA

*****

Sassy Sez: Hi Laura! Good question. I'm sure a lot of people wonder the same thing.

There you are wanting to eat the freshest, most wholesome beans made from scratch versus purchased in a can, and the taste leaves something to be desired.

The reason you might find canned beans tastier is because they have lots and lots of SODIUM added. In fact, when you open canned beans you should put them into a colander and give them a good rinse under running water. Not only does this remove some of the sodium, but it also clears away some of the aspects of the canned beans which cause digestive disturbances (read: gas!).

When you cook your own beans from scratch - soaking and cooking them yourself, your beans are the healthiest they can be. But it's up to YOU to add the flavors to make your beans to your liking.

Of course, the cardinal rule to cooking beans is to ADD NO SALT BEFORE COOKING. Wait until your beans are cooked to perfection, and THEN you can salt and any other flavors you prefer.

Have you checked out the Beans Vegan Flavor Matches? These will help you tremendously, because I teach you which ingredients match the bean you are cooking. In this instance, you would look up the Black Bean Flavor Matches -- any of these ingredients would work perfectly to mix in with your black beans to flavor them. Of course, you don't have to stick with these ingredients -- play around with your food to find flavor combinations you like.

By the way, after years of eating a vegan diet, and avoiding processed foods which are LOADED with sodium, I actually really enjoy the taste of just-cooked beans with NO flavors added whatsoever. Although I usually add ingredients to spruce my beans up because...well, it makes eating more fun. ;)

So anyway, perhaps your taste buds will change some day and you might just enjoy your beans "au naturel" as well.

Hope this helps, and enjoy your homemade black beans! :)

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Bland Black Beans..my fix
by: Pam Lake Nockamixon PA

Hello and I love this website! Thanks Sassy!
I have a point to add about my Black Bean experiences.
I agree with you that Black beans from cans seem tastier..due to sodium and other nastys.
If I have too in a pince, I buy a good organic brand that uses seaweed as a preservative.

As for cooking from scratch, I soak, drain, add water or veggie broth (from scratch) a bay leaf, and let it go LOW and Slow..adding more liquid as needed. You will start to achieve a nice rich "gravy" and Voila! This "gravy" can be saved for thickening stews or making an actual gravy.Or leave it and add sauteed onions, leeks, carrots, spices and place on rice in a big bow. I call it a Bowl of Joy!
We must retrain our taste buds away from sodium to more natural approaches like lemon, seaweed..etc.
Hope I helped ! Blesings! Pam Z

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Yummy!
by: Sassy

Yummmmmm, a gravy made from beans. That sounds amazing, Pam! Thanks so much for sharing -- I'm sure others will find this very helpful.

Glad you're enjoying the site. Have a fabulous day. :) xo!

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Bay Beans
by: Wendy

I add three bay leaves to my beans at the start, the flavor seems to get right into the beans.( I have no idea if anyone likes this flavor.) I also add Mrs Dash or chili powder quite early.

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Bay Leaves Rock in Black Beans
by: Pam Lake Nockamixon PA

Bay leaves rock in Black beans...great addition.
Great finishing touch is Cilantro.

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Black Beans - Thanks
by: LauraS

Hey, thanks to all of you for the great ideas. Going to make some black beans tonight and hopefully with your advice, will turn out GREAT!

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Cilanto
by: Janice Lynn

just a quick comment about adding Cilantro If you're not use to it try small amounts at first and build up i followed a recipe once using cilanto and it was sooo strong I freeze it and then just add small amounts it has a different taste. I am getting use to it. One thing about becoming a vegan you use more spices and things taste good AMAZING !!!!!!

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Black beans DO have flavor1
by: Marilyn E. Taylor

The first time I had black beans, my nephew's wife from Brazil cooked them. They brought them from Brazil. I loved them.

Then I purchased some from FredMeyer in their bulk food section. They had no flavor. I puzzled over this for a long time. Then I purchased black beans in a Mexican grocery store in the Portland, OR area. Ah, once again a flavorful black bean.

My conclusion is that it is something in the soil where they are grown that accounts for the difference. So when I want to make black bean soup I go to a Mexican grocery store and buy them in a package (I don't remember the name) and as I recall the package says "packaged in San Jose, CA." I imagine Cuban black beans may have that great flavor.

Hope my theory is right.

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You guys rock ;)
by: Sassy

Verrrry interesting conclusion, Marilyn! Thanks so much, everyone, for participating and sharing your tips and advice. :) xo!

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Black Beans
by: Anonymous

I have lost 32 pounds eating not much more then black beans the past 3 months. I have tried everything but I just don't seem to get any flavor into my black beans. I use a crook pot and a pressure cooker to no avail. I actually like them bland but not a single person who tries my beans likes them. Everyone says they are very bland. I guess I got used to them but they do keep me full all day with plenty of energy so I'm happy with them. I have started to add homemade salsa verde with plenty of habenero and jalapenos to my beans after they are cooked and that has added a little extra taste to them.. I am content but any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Flavoring Beans
by: Tatiana

Hi Sassy, I just have a question about making beans from scratch. I saw your flavor matches and am just curious when in the cooking process you add the flavors in. Is it after you can smash one in between your tongue and the roof of your mouth once they are cooked? Is it when you're bringing the beans to a boil? Is it when they are covered and simmering? Thanks!

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Here's why I flavor my beans after cooking...
by: Sassy

Hi Tanya!

I find the best time to flavor my beans is AFTER they are cooked.

Whether you are working with your beans right after this point, or whether they're completely cooled and you pull them out of the fridge from the day before, I always flavor them as I use them.

That's because it gives me more flexibility.

While beans actually do have their own gorgeous stand-out flavors, they can seem a little ho-hum. So flavoring is usually needed, especially to someone coming off of a meat- and dairy-focused diet whose taste buds can be dulled. (I have found the longer I'm Vegan, the cleaner my taste buds become which is why it's particularly important to be sure you're still using robust flavors when cooking for non-vegans.)

But I digress (!)...    ;)

Getting back to my main point about why flavoring my beans after cooking allows me more options. If I have a jar of cooked and cooled beans in the fridge I might have an idea for a finished dish that focuses on Italian flavors, so I'll use flavorings like oregano, basil, marjoram, some hot dried chili peppers, marinara, etc.

But the next day I might want to focus on Mexican flavors so I'll use flavorings like cumin, chipotle powder, cinnamon, enchilada sauce or salsa, etc.

By NOT flavoring my beans before or during cooking, it allows me a lot of room to play with my food and the various flavors in my kitchen.

Hope this helps! xo


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Pressure cooker question
by: Anonymous

When cooking in a pressure cooker, do you get the thick gravy I associate with slow cooking on stovetop?

thanks,
Marsha

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Bean gravy
by: Sassy

Hi Marsha! It's more like a broth. I think the "gravy" that you're seeing is caused from your beans beginning to fall apart, maybe? It thickens the broth. xo!

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Study More Before Posting This
by: Anonymous

You need to school yourself on the proper use of salt (sisal). It brings out the natural flavor of beans, including black beans. If you cook beans correctly, just with salt, they are absolutely delicious.

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Black beans
by: Anonymous

I soak my black beans in 7up. Is that vegan? It is tasty.:-)

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