Monday, April 1, 2013

40 Days-40 Lenten Recipes #15 Surprise Guest Blogger-Guatemalan Black Beans

Guatemalan Black Beans




Not only is it our first guest blogger, 
but also it comes all the way from Guatemala 
and from someone so special! 

I am beyond excited, if you can't tell.
I wish to thank her for taking time to share the day with us and for all her work. 
May God continue to provide you strength!

Our next Lenten Recipe is Guatemalan Black Beans, and offered by, 
Presvytera Alexandra Chakos.

Fr. John and Presvytera Sandy have been in Guatemala since 2011, following "retirement" from  parish life, they entered their new roles as missionaries.   
Now, in Guatemala, Fr. John is helping to establish a seminary, train catechists, coordinate the arrival of mission teams, support orphans and needy children, 
and aid the clergy in ministering to the sacramental needs of the communities.

Presvytera Alexandra (a.k.a. Sandy) is teaching the sewing of priestly vestments, cassocks, robes for altar boys, and other ecclesiastical necessities." 

With this beautiful offering she is helping empower women, with new talents, skills and opportunities.
To learn more about them and their time, or if you would like to help?

Please visit Presvytera's blog: The Word from Guatemala


And now...


The photo is of Dona Simona, the cook at our boys' orphanage in Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala.
She is cooking up a big pot of black beans.



Guatemalan Black Beans


In a rhyme remembered from my childhood, beans are referred to as the "musical fruit."  
I would amend that rhyme to call beans the MAGICAL fruit.  I would even go further and call them the Legumes of Life.  Among all groups of food, no group has a more health-supportive mix of protein plus fiber than beans.  Indigenous to Central and South America, beans were introduced to Europe in the 15th century by Spanish explorers, and eventually spread to Africa and Asia.  Because they are easy to grow and can be easily stored for long periods of time, beans have sustained human life when other food sources were scarce.


Of all legumes, black beans contain the most healthy nutrients.  Their dark seed coat is an outstanding source of disease-fighting flavonoids.  Add to this, antioxidant-promoting manganese, muscle-building protein, energy-producing magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus, and iron.  With a low glycemic load, they help in blood sugar regulation.  It has been shown that a steady diet of black beans can decrease the risk of cardio-vascular disease and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.  

So, are you ready to eat some black beans?  Here's how to cook them Guatemalan style. If you live in rural Guatemala, as I do, it is important to spread the dry beans on a light-colored towel to remove stones, bugs, debris, and damaged beans.  Rinse beans thoroughly and place them in a bowl to soak, adding 2 to 3 cups of water for every cup of beans.  Soak them for 8 hours or overnight.  If you have enough kindling for your fire, you can use the quick soaking method.  Bring the beans to boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover and allow to stand for two hours.  Drain the liquid and discard.  If you are worried about losing nutrients, a recent study has shown that the advantages of discarding the water outweigh the disadvantages.  It also reduces the substances that cause flatulence.  Rinse the beans and place them in a pot, adding 3 cups of fresh water per cup of beans.  Throw in a couple of bay leaves and a few cloves of sliced garlic.  Do not add salt at this time or your beans will be tough.  Simmer for 1 1/2 hour or until beans are tender.  Add salt and cumin to taste.  Serve with rice or boiled plantains.  Enjoy your black beans!  Enjoy your Magical Legumes of Life! Do you feel healthier already?


Thank you and remember to Share the Day! 
Please consider Sharing the Day over at The Word from Guatemala
and remember them all, in your prayers.
Only together there is hope.







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