We consume beans often in our home, they're so versatile and of course, are a pantry staple for most people. Even though I can get a can of organic beans at Whole Foods for $1, buying a bag and cooking them myself is much cheaper... we're talking pennies! At least every other weekend I try to buy a bag of organic (and Fair Trade, if possible) beans and cook them in the crock-pot for a few hours. Then I store them in little zip-lock freezer bags (which I re-use when I cycle them in and out!) and have little bags of cooked beans at my disposal. Not only does this cost less, but it also means my waste is one plastic bag rather than 4-5 aluminum cans per week.
Usually I under cook my beans just a bit because when I use them later on, they are re-cooked and I don't like mushy beans. The only time this plan backfires on me is when I make bean patties or burgers. When I made these patties, the beans were a bit al dente, and were probably the reason they didn't stick together quite as well as I had hoped.
I changed the recipe a bit from the original, which I found on Two Blue Lemons. It is suggested you use a ripe plantain, but I recommend using overly ripe plantains. I took half of my large plantain and mashed it to help work as a binder in this vegan recipe. Then I diced the rest so there would still be nice chunks of plantain strewn through the patties. I dredged the patties in a tiny bit of cornmeal to add a crunchy crust. Finally, because peaches and on their way out of season, I made a fresh peach salsa rather than an avocado one as the recipe is written.
Though the patties did hold together, I would make one change for the future, and I do plan to make these again! As I do with many bean patties, I would puree half the beans completely and mix them with the mashed plantain, then fold in the diced plantain chunks and whole beans.
VBS Tips and Trades:
-One of the additional reasons I do not buy canned beans is because of the BPA threat, a toxic chemical in plastics #7 and some canned foods. BPA keeps the can's lining from breaking down. Many companies are making an effort to get rid of BPA, including Eden Organic. The most common canned item containing BPA is tomatoes. It's best to choose glass or tetra-pack (these, for example)
-When choosing your plantains, look for ripe ones that have many black spots and look overly-ripe. If they're green at all, the plantains will be hard to peel, and won't be mash-able.
Plantain and Black Bean Patties
adapted from Two Blue Lemons
2 c. black beans or 1 15. oz can drained and rinsed
1 plantain, 1/2 c. mashed, 1/2 c. finely diced
1/4 c. minced red onion
1/4 c. minced cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. corriander
Salt and pepper
1/4 c. cornmeal
1 large peach, washed, pitted and finely diced
2 tbsp. minced red onion
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
1/2 c. finely diced tomato
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño, finely minced
Salt and pepper
Add half of the beans and half of the plantain to a food processor, puree.
Pour into a mixing bowl, add remaining black beans, plantain, red onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cumin, cayenne, coriander, salt and pepper.
Chill for 10 minutes.
In a small mixing bowl, toss together salsa ingredients, place in the refrigerator.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Spray a small, round, flat dish (or a burger patty maker) with nonstick spray, dust with cornmeal, spoon 3/4 c. of mixture in and form into a patty.
Place on the skillet, repeat to form about 4 patties.
Cook for 5 minutes, check for a deep golden crust, carefully flip and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Plate, serve with peach salsa and plain Greek yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.