Since becoming vegan, beans have become a staple in my daily diet. Except for the occasional navy bean soup my grandma made, we really didn’t eat beans. They just weren’t the norm for my family.
Beans are a great source of protein and nutrition for plant-based diets. I have grown to love beans over the past few years and have incorporated them into my daily diet. If I had to pick a favorite legume, it would have to be the black bean. It’s okay to have a favorite go-to bean, right? There is always a bag or two of dried black beans in my pantry and I am constantly creating fun, recipes for them.
Last year, I shared a Venezuelan Black Bean Soup recipe that came from my friend Angie. The soup is delicious and I was inspired to create a simple black bean base recipe that had the same flavor profile as the soup and the beans could be used in many different applications. This recipe for Slow Cooker Venezuelan Black Beans is simple to make and the slow cooker does most of the work.
What makes these black beans Venezuelan is the addition of cumin and panela sugar. Adding the sugar is very traditional and it is what sets these bean apart from other recipes. Usually you can find panela sugar, also know as piloncillo, in your local Latin supermarket or on Amazon. A few months ago I discovered Just Panela Artisanal Cane Sugar. The sugar is unrefined which allows the sugar to retain its nutrients. The sugar doesn’t make these beans sweet; it gives the beans an earthy, deep flavor.
I like to make a batch of beans on the weekend to use throughout the upcoming week. The seasoned black beans can be used to many different ways. You can turn them into a soup, serve them as a side dish, you can also make delicious refried beans. Later I will be sharing a recipe that features the refried beans. Be sure to check back for that recipe! It’s really good.
Make a batch of Slow Cooker Venezuelan Black Beans if you are looking for fun, new ways to incorporated more legumes into your diet. The beans are layered with deep earthy flavor from the cumin and panela sugar. The slow cooker does the work without heating up the kitchen; perfect for these hot summer days.
- 1 Pound Dry Black Beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
- 1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, diced
- 1 Yellow Onion, diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 Tsp Cumin
- 2 Tsp Grated Panela
- 6 Cups Water
- 2 Tsp Sea Salt, or to taste
- The night before making the beans, soak the black beans overnight.
- Drain the beans and add to the slow cooker along with the diced bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, panela, and water. Set the slow cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Cook until the beans are tender. I usually start checking after they have been cooking for 6 hours. Once the beans are are done add salt to taste.
- If not serving right away, store the beans in the fridge or the freezer for longer storage.