Find out what black beans are and if they are considered safe for a gluten-free diet. Plus find out how to use them in gluten-free cooking.
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If you’ve been getting started with a gluten-free diet, you know that looking at every ingredient in your kitchen is important. What small ingredients have you looked over not knowing if there’s hidden gluten in them?
Are beans gluten-free? And more specifically, are black beans, kidney beans, or garbanzo beans gluten-free? There are so many things to think about when making a shift to a new diet. Larger food groups all the way down to the nitty gritty details of each and every ingredient. It feels like gluten could be anywhere!
In this post, we’re going to narrow down our topic to just black beans and talk about how they can fit into your gluten-free diet, and when you’ll want to keep an eye out on ingredients lists and gluten-free labeling.
What are black beans?
Black beans are a small bean named for their appearance of a black outer shell. Black beans are also known as “turtle beans” or “frijoles negros” in Spanish. You might find packaging with both of these terms and they’ll also mean they are simply black beans.
Black beans are versatile in cooking like most other types of beans. They can be used in soups, chilis, stews, sprinkled on salads, in tacos and enchiladas, pureed into bean dips and even brownies.
Black beans are a healthy way to incorporate protein into your diet while filling you up with fiber, and a good dose of minerals from calcium, folate, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form of gluten or wheat derivatives.
These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Read on: What is gluten in food? The basics of a gluten-free diet
Are black beans gluten-free?
Black beans on their own are naturally gluten-free and safe to eat on a gluten-free diet. If you know that you cannot handle even the possibility of trace levels of gluten, then you might want to look for a gluten-free label on the black beans that you buy from the store.
Read on: Are beans gluten-free?
Read on: Are chickpeas gluten-free?
Are dry black beans gluten-free?
Dry black beans are considered to be gluten-free as they aren’t a grain product so you should have no issues with dry beans on your gluten-free diet.
Dry beans may contain gluten after being processed on the same machinery as grains that contain gluten. If that is a concern for you, be sure to look for a brand of dry beans that has a gluten-free label, so you know they’ve been tested to have less than 20ppm of gluten in the package.
Are canned black beans gluten-free?
Plain canned black beans are considered gluten-free. It’s always a good idea to review ingredients lists and labels for any added ingredients gluten may hide under.
If the canned black beans you’re looking at contain any seasonings or other ingredients than just black beans, you will want to look closely to make sure they don’t contain gluten.
Overall, it’s never a bad idea to find an option of canned black beans with a gluten-free label and season them yourself at home.
Brands of gluten-free black beans
There are so many brands of black beans on the market, but if you’re looking for options with a very clear gluten-free label, here are a few to choose from and look for next time you’re at the store:
- A Dozen Cousins
- Among Friends
- Eden Foods
- Edison Grainery
- Omena Organics
How to use black beans in your cooking
Black beans are an extremely versatile ingredient in your cooking. Here are just a few ways I’ve used them and seen them used.
- In gluten-free Mexican casseroles
- In taco salads
- In a big pot of gluten-free chili
- Homemade bean dips and hummus
- In brownies – yep, black bean brownies are a thing!
- In homemade refried beans
- Black bean soup or stew
- Homemade black bean burgers or sliders
Read on: Gluten-free Mexican food
Read on: Are refried beans gluten-free?
If you’ve been wondering how black beans fit into a gluten-free diet, I hope this information has helped you get the answers you’ve been looking for. Black beans are generally considered a good option for extra protein and fiber on a gluten-free diet as long as other gluten-containing ingredients haven’t been added to the recipe.
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