Black vs. pinto beans: Is there a difference? Do they taste uniquely different? Are they healthy for you? These are questions you might have when it comes to either bean. You may also want to know what recipes are best with either.
Black and pinto beans are vastly different in taste and texture. There's a reason that Chipotle asks if you want black or pinto beans on your burrito bowl because they know they have different nutritional values. They are also part of diverse cultures in other recipes.
In this guide, we look at some of those recipes. We look at what makes black and pinto beans unique when it comes to history, taste, texture, and recipes. You'll ultimately have a better idea of what to cook with.
Black vs. Pinto Beans: Unraveling The History
Black beans date back over 7,000 years ago. They were originally a staple part of the Central and South American diet. It's often most popular in Louisiana Cajun and Creole cuisine. Another fun fact about black beans is that they are legumes, like peas and lentils. You can most commonly find black beans in South American, Mexican, Spanish, and Caribbean dishes.
Also, native to Central and South America, pinto beans are one of the most popular beans eaten today. They originate from the Peruvian highlands. They are always a staple part of the Mexican and Peruvian diets.
Through the years, black and pinto beans have become a staple of American diets. You can find them in grocery stores and restaurants that complement dishes. They are the most popular dish that blends well with other foods and is nutritious.
However, knowing how they taste different is important before ordering either of them.
Why They Taste Different
When it comes to black beans, sometimes called turtle beans, they have a mildly sweet flavor. In terms of appearance, they are oval-shaped and black, while pinto beans are generally known to have a lighter brown color. Additionally, black beans can sometimes be described as having an earthiness and acidic taste. This is because they grow in slightly acidic clay during the spring months.
Pinto beans have a slightly different taste to them. They are also somewhat larger than their counterparts, the black beans. Some people describe them as having a mild, nutty, and earthy flavor. There's also a slight creaminess to them. In grocery stores, you can find a form of pinto beans in the form of refried beans. These are smashed-up pinto beans that are often a staple of Mexican dishes.
What Are the Health Benefits?
While black and pinto beans are healthy for you, there's no denying that black beans have a slight edge when it comes to calories and carbohydrates.
One of the best benefits of eating black beans is that they have immense fiber, which aids in your digestion. They are also a great source of healthy protein that helps with muscle development. Other health benefits include vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and folate. You'll also discover that black beans help lower your blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and help with weight loss.
Although pinto beans are slightly higher in calories, they also hold tremendous nutritional value. These beans are also packed with fiber and protein. They also help reduce your risk of cancer and lower your blood sugar.
Recipes to Include With Either One of Them
There's no shortage of black or pinto bean recipes. You can use them to supplement other meals, or these beans can be meals themselves. Either way, you'll find that there are delicious savory options.
Here's a list of the most popular black bean dishes.
- Black bean burger
- Black bean burrito
- Black bean dip
- Black bean tacos
- Black bean soup
- Cuban black bean chili
Here's a list of the most popular pinto bean dishes.
- Pinto bean soup
- Pinto bean dip
- Pinot bean burritos
- Crockpot pinto beans
- Southern pinto beans
Finding the right recipe with either bean requires a bit of experimentation. You'll see what you enjoy the most, if it's a pinto or black burrito. The best part about these recipes is that you can easily get them at a Mexican restaurant or pick them up at the store yourself and make them.
What's The Bean of Choice?
Pinto and black beans are unique beans that stand alone in flavor, texture, and recipes. They are nutritional beans that offer tremendous health benefits no matter how you cook them. The best part is that they are easily found in grocery stores for purchase.
Overall, some people love the flavor of a black or pinto bean but detest the other. The goal is to see what you enjoy the most. Trying both can give an idea of their differences and what they offer.