Cuban Black Beans

By Madison M.

Beans are a great way to get both iron and fiber in your diet. This is my favorite black bean recipe, and it is easily accomplished without the need for any plastic packaging.

As you know, dry beans are super cheap and easily found in the bulk aisle of many natural food stores and co-ops. These organic black beans were less than a dollar a pound!

This recipe is a great opportunity to use up your frozen onions, as we discussed in the food storage post. Freezing onions is a great way to store them if they are about to go bad and you don’t think you will use them up in time. Also, if cutting onions makes you tear up, freezing them prevents the gasses from escaping, which is what makes your eyes burn!


Frozen onions are perfect for both sauces and this bean recipe!


You can either soak your beans overnight, or cook them for about two hours. I use a ratio of 1 part beans to 3 parts water, which I then bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.

Covered, beans take about two to three hours to cook directly from a dehydrated state. Soaking them overnight expedites this process!


Ingredients: (and how to purchase them without plastic packaging)

  • 2 cups of black beans (soaked in water overnight, or boil 6 cups of water in a medium sauce pan, add beans, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours until beans are tender) bulk aisle
  • 4 cups of water (or vegetable broth) tap
  • 1 cup chopped onion (frozen okay!) loose produce
  • 1 bell pepper, diced. loose produce
  • 1 tablespoon salt bulk aisle
  • 1 tablespoon cumin bulk aisle
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh) grow your own, or bulk aisle
  • 1/4 olive oil glass


In a medium sauce pan, head olive oil over medium low heat. Stir in chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes.

Add salt, stir. Add bell pepper and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Mix in the beans, cumin, oregano and stir for one more minute. Finally, pour in the water and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer on low for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Make sure the beans are not drying out, if they are, add water, one tablespoon at a time, as needed.


Refrigerated in an air tight container, these beans can be stored for up to a week.

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