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29 January, 2020

Black Bean and Cucumber Salad

Mental Health Benefits

Black beans, also known as legumes, or turtle beans because of their hard, shell-like appearance. Black beans are, in fact, the edible seeds of the plant.

Like other legumes, such as peanuts, peas, and lentils, black beans are prized for their high protein and fiber content. They also contain several other key vitamins and minerals that are known to benefit human health.

With 294 mg packed into every cup, black beans are a major source of magnesium. Magnesium is so effective at improving moods since it works to calm the nervous system, lower blood sugar levels, and prevents the adrenal gland from producing excess amounts of cortisol—a major stress hormone. Legumes like garbanzo beans, lentils, and split peas are a rich source of folic acid. Studies have shown that folic acid can improve verbal and memory performance, and may delay onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Getting enough folic acid while pregnant is important for fetal brain development too—especially in early pregnancy. It can help prevent neural tube defects—a leading cause of infant mortality in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Black Bean & Cucumber Salad

2 ½ each                             Cucumbers, quartered & cut into chunks

2 – 15oz can                       Black beans, drained & rinsed

2 ½ Cups                             Cherry tomatoes, halved

2 ½ Cups                             Frozen corn, thawed

1 ¼ each                             Red onion, chopped

1/3 Cup + 2 Tbsp.             Olive oil

3 Tbsp. + 2 ¼ tsp               Orange marmalade

2 Tbsp. + 1 ½ tsp              Lemon juice

2 ½ tsp                                Honey

1 ¼ tsp                                Ground cumin

To taste                              Salt & pepper

  1. Toss cucumber, black beans, tomatoes, corn & onion together in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, marmalade, lemon juice, honey & cumin together; season with salt & pepper.
  3. Drizzle dressing over the vegetables mixture; toss to coat.