Black Turtle Beans
Black Turtle Beans as a Garden Plant
Like other beans, Black Turtle Beans do not do well when transplanted, direct seeding is necessary. Black turtle beans do best in hot climates and need slightly acidic soil. Beans in general require a longer growing season, around 80 days, but do not do well in cool, damp soil. Plant black turtle beans after the last frost have passed. Consider using a black tarp to keep in the heat if you are getting the black turtle beans started when it is still cool outside. Plant black turtle beans in prepared garden beds no more than an inch deep and in full sun. Black turtle beans should reach maturity between 95-105 days.
Black turtle beans' rich texture and slight sweetness make them a popular choice in many vegan and vegetarian dishes. Their versatility means that black turtle beans are mainstays of a wide range of culturally significant dishes.
Use black turtle beans in burritos, tacos, soups, salads, and classic rice and beans. Black turtle beans can be blended into hummus or other delicious spreads. Black turtle beans can even be pureed and used to make fiber-rich black bean brownies!
- Rice and beans
- Dips and spreads
- Baked goods
In addition to their prevalence in Central America, black turtle beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are also popular in south Louisiana in cajun and creole dishes. Like other common beans, it is native to the Americas. Black turtle beans are actually a deep, rich purple color and are known by numerous names: frijoles negros, judia negra, caraota negra, zaragoza, poroto negro (Spanish), Kala Gheveda (Hindi), feijão preto (Portugese). In Cuba, black beans with rice is a popular and timeless dish and in the Dominican Republic, black turtle beans are served in a dish called Moros y Cristianos which refers to the occupation of the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors. The white rice in the dish represents Christians while the black beans represent the moors.
In the US, Michigan produces the highest quantities of black turtle beans. Mexico is Michigan’s largest export customer for black beans.
Out of all beans, black turtle beans have the highest levels of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a type of phytochemical found in a range of foods, like grapes, blueberries, vegetables, and cacao, that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants intake is associated with better health outcomes as they combat free-radicals from our modern lifestyle. Black turtle beans are low in fat and rich in protein and fiber. They are known for their high satiety ability and are suitable for all dietary needs. Black turtle beans are also rich in prebiotics, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and vitamin K.