These little black bean cakes are versatile and a tasty way to enjoy beans. Try them tucked into pita, on a Latin-inspired salad, or as a satisfying snack dipped in chipotle mayo.
Beans are great because they are delicious, super healthy, good for the earth, a low cost plant-based protein source, and they can be used in a variety of cuisines. My friends at the Culinary Institute of America are teaching future chefs Principles of Healthy Sustainable Menus. One of those key principles is to move beans, nuts, and legumes to the center of the plate. So you can be sure that a greater number of restaurants and cafeterias will be serving them in creative dishes for the foreseeable future.
I adore beans because they help build soil fertility. Technically speaking, there are nitrogen fixing bacteria that live in the root nodules of legumes that take nitrogen from the air and give it to the plant in a way it can use. The Nitrogen Cycle is critical to life, and my eight-year-old son Henry wants you to know a fun way to learn about it with your family is to check out this interactive nitrogen fixation cycle from the University of Alberta (via OPB).
At our farm, we never go a year without planting beans. We don’t grow enough to store dry beans in any quantity. Instead, I have gone straight to planting only pole beans – the kind that grow 5-6 feet tall – so the kids have a teepee to play in while picking and eating beans right in the yard. You can grow your own teepee you can eat too!
So where do I get my beans? I used to soak and then cook in my pressure cooker, but I realized I did that about once a year and wasn’t eating beans nearly as often as I wanted to. After all, beans are so delicious and good for you, they are served everyday in school meals. Everyday.
Now I mostly buy canned beans from Truitt Family Foods. Full disclosure: my day job entails working at Truitt Family Foods processing facility. I see first hand the love and care so many folks put into making sure the beans are high quality without splits. They soak beans, not based on time, but until the moisture content is just right. Then, they add nothing but sea salt. You can taste the difference.
Check out the ingredient statement on a can the next time you buy beans. Beans are basic foods, but often canned beans include artificial firming or coloring agents like EDTA or ferrous gluconate, which can give beans a “tinny” taste.
In this one minute video, my friend Hadly shows you how to make Savory Black Bean Patties. Enjoy!
- Serves: 12 patties
- Serving size: 2 patties
- Calories: 379
- Fat: 8g
- Saturated fat: 2.6g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Sugar: 0g
- Sodium: 630mg
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 13g
- 2 15-ounce cans cooked black beans, drained but not rinsed
- ½ cup plain bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tapatío
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- ¼ cup green onions, finely sliced
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Use a non-stick Silpat, or spray a sheet pan with a good amount of non-stick vegetable oil. Set the pan aside.
- Place half of the drained black beans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade. Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, hot sauce, ground cumin, dried oregano, and garlic powder. Pulse the ingredients until the beans are mashed. Transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl.
- Stir in the remaining whole beans, shredded cheese and finely sliced green onions. Form the bean mixture into 12 equal balls, about ¼ cup each, and place on the prepared sheet pan. Press each ball into a 1-inch thick cake. Spray the tops of each cake lightly with non-stick vegetable oil spray.
- Bake in the preheated 425°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and gently turn each black bean cake over. Place the sheet pan back into the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the black bean cakes rest for up to 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy with some sour cream and fresh cilantro