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Family Recipe: Cuban Black Beans

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Black beans are a legume known for their dark pigment. Like peas, lentils, and peanuts they share a strong nutritional profile. Black beans have many health benefits including cancer preventative properties, supporting healthy digestion, improving heart health and blood sugar retention. Some key takeaways on the benefits of black beans include:

  • Strengthening healthy bones with nutrients including phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc.
  • Providing quercetin and saponins to aid in cardioprotection.
  • Acting as a filling high-fiber food to increase the feeling of “fullness” and satiety which helps reduce overeating.

Check out this family recipe from Dr. JoAnn Yanez!

Quick and Easy!

Undoubtedly, without question….the best I’ve ever had.  Not just saying that because it is a family recipe. Trust me – they’re delicious!!!

Cuban Black Beans

Dr. JoAnn Yanez
This is better the next day as well – the flavors meld into heavenly yumminess.  Can be served over rice or added to quesadillas, burritos, omelets or anything you would want beans in.  It can also be blended smooth in the food processor for a killer bean dip, served with tortilla chips or cut veggies of your choice.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Cuban


  • 1 can plain organic black beans drained. *substitution – you can sub pigeon beans (gandules) for a Puerto Rican version or any bean of your liking. But, for Cubans, black beans are a staple.
  • organic chicken or veggie stock
  • ¼ cup wine (mom always uses port).  Any robust red will do.
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil traditional recipes call for bacon or pork fat
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small celery stalk (That’s mom’s secret. She’ll be mad I am writing it down!)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 pinch oregano
  • 1-2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 dash celery salt
  • salt to taste


  • Start with sofrito. Add olive oil to pan, add onion, pepper, garlic, and celery
  • Once the vegetables are soft, add in the spices to warm through. 
  • Add beans
  • Fill the can with organic chicken or veggie stock and swirl to find the little last bits of beans
  • Add wine
  • Simmer on medium to low heat until desired consistency (about 20-25 min) stirring occasionally to avoid burning the bottom.
Keyword Healthy Digestion, Heart Health, Reduce Diabetes Risk

JoAnn Yanez, ND, MPH, CAE

JoAnn Yanez and her mother.

JoAnn is the Executive Director of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges and the chair of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH). She also serves on the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC) Education Committee. Weaving a passion for illness prevention into her professional life, Dr. Yanez’s career has spanned advocacy, academia, patient care, and public health.

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This article is provided by

The Institute for Natural Medicine, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. INM’s mission is to transform health care in the United States by increasing public awareness of natural medicine and access to naturopathic doctors. Naturopathic medicine, with its person-centered principles and practices, has the potential to reverse the tide of chronic illness overwhelming healthcare systems and to empower people to achieve and maintain optimal lifelong health. INM strives to fulfil this mission through the following initiatives:

  • Education – Reveal the unique benefits and outcomes of evidence-based natural medicine
  • Access – Connect patients to licensed naturopathic doctors
  • Research – Expand quality research on this complex and comprehensive system of medicine

About The Author(s)


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