Today is


Cooking with Black Foods

 Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Roasted Tomatoes


Black Food Sources:

Black Mushrooms, black beans, black rice, licorice

Health Benefits

Chinese believe that food can be categorized as five colors: green, red, yellow, white, and black. The color of the food corresponds to different human organs. Green foods tonify the liver, reds tonify the heart, yellows tonify the spleen, whites tonify the lung, and blacks tonify the kidney. Balancing the diet with foods in different color will help strengthen the organs of body and prevent them from the disease. Black/dark foods come from both plant and animal origins. Foods from plant origin include black rice, black soybean, black sesame, black plum, black mulberry, purple seaweed, kelp, and black mushroom. Foods from animal origin include sea cucumber, black chicken, cuttle fish, grass eel, turtle, black snail, and frog. (See abstract by Y.W. Huang). According to Kikuchi, a science professor at the Foods Laboratory in Tukuba, black foods often contain more anthocyanin, isoflavones and minerals than their counterparts and have more health benefits such as antioxidants and anticoagulation to prevent blood clots

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a flavorful herb that has been used in food and medicinal remedies for thousands of years. Also known as "sweet root," licorice root contains a compound that is roughly 50 times sweeter than sugar. Licorice root has been used in both Eastern and Western medicine to treat a variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold to liver disease. This herb has long been valued as a demulcent (soothing, coating agent) and continues to be used by professional herbalists today to relieve respiratory ailments (such as allergies, bronchitis, colds, sore throats, and tuberculosis), stomach problems (including, possibly, heartburn from reflux or some other cause and gastritis), inflammatory disorders, skin diseases, and liver problems. Licorice root is often used to prevent and treat stomach ulcers. In fact, healthcare practitioners in Europe and Japan often prescribe a synthetic form of licorice for stomach ulcers. Although this drug is not available in the United States, many herbalists prescribe combination herbal remedies containing licorice for people with this painful health condition (source -- more information on Licorice)

Although valued for their rich flavor, black mushrooms are also believed to have numerous health benefits. Besides helping to reduce cholesterol and lower high blood pressure, they contain polysaccharides that are thought to boost the immune system and inhibit the growth of tumors. On a lighter note, the Chinese believe black mushrooms are an aphrodisiac. Nutritionally, they are loaded with protein, and contain vitamins B2 and B12.

Black beans came have been found to contain more antioxidant activity, gram for gram, than other beans, followed by red, brown, yellow and white beans, in that order. In general, darker colored seed coats were associated with higher levels of flavonoids, and therefore higher antioxidant activity, according to lead investigator Clifford W. Beninger, Ph.D., a research associate at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.


Recipes and Information:

Featured Recipe: Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Roasted Tomatoes

2 roasted tomatoes (see roasted tomato page)
1 red onion diced
3 oz. of spanish chorizo
3 sprigs of coriander
1 crushed dried red pepper
1 medium carrot diced
3 large garlic cloves chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried herbs provence
2 cups (or more) chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups dried black beans
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt








Soak beans overnight in cold water. Allow extra water for beans to absorb. Sauté diced onion (leave a small amount of diced onion for the yogurt garnish), carrots, garlic and dried pepper in olive olive, add soaked beans, and stock. Cook till beans are soft (1-2 hours). Add more stock if needed. After beans are soft remove 1/3 of beans and puree or mash with a potato masher. Return to soup and test for desired texture. Add slices of chorizo and roasted tomatoes and bring soup to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt mixed with coriander and red onions (see photo above).



See Also: Cooking with Beans

Culinary News

Visit our Food and Beverage News Page containing:

Drinks and Beverage News

Hospitality Industry News

Food Industry News

Food and Drink News (Consumer)

Sponsored Links

Cooking Schools

For a small selection of schools in your area see: US Culinary Schools

Food Encyclopedia


Questions or Comments?
Copyright 2005
All Rights Reserved.