Among the most popular dishes from Latin America are chili beans. Chili beans have become a popular food in these areas because of their rich flavor and the relatively inexpensive ingredients that are used for chili beans.
Purpose. Chili beans can be served in a variety of ways. Chili beans can be eaten by itself, or it can be served as a side dish. It can also be served as dips, especially for nachos and tortillas because of the rich flavor that the dish ha. These are also sometimes added to burritos and may be poured over cornbread and rice.
Ingredients. Chili beans are usually made from fresh chilies, beans, onions, cumin, cilantro, tomatoes, and other spices. Closely related to the chili beans is the chili con carne. While chili beans have beans as the main ingredient, chili con carne is focused more on the meat that in marinated in a rich chili sauce. Usually, ground meats are used for chili con carne. The beans that may be used for chili beans are usually butter beans, lima beans, or whatever beans are in season. Chili beans will also have some meat in it, just as chili con carne will often have a smattering of beans in it. However, meat can be removed to create vegan chili beans. Other ingredients that may be used to add flavor and texture to chili beans are tofu and seitan, which will keep the dish vegetarian while adding flavor.
Preparation. To prepare the chili beans, the beans should first be soaked and washed. Beans are usually soaked overnight, so that the beans will soften and so that these will cook evenly. Beans that are not soaked properly will tend to upset the stomach and cause gas. If overnight soaking is not possible, the minimum recommended soak time is eight hours. Some beans also need to be soaked in order for the bean skin to unlatch from the bean itself. After soaking, the water is drained from the beans and then fired or sautéed with the other ingredients. A thick sauce can be added, and the beans can be simmered to further soften the beans. Depending on the beans that are used, cooking can take up to four hours using low heat, which will make the beans very soft.
Benefits. What make chili beans so popular are the rich flavor and the high carbohydrate content. Carbohydrates are often deemed as bad foods, but it is actually a very important part of the diet because carbohydrates are the primary energy source for humans. Because beans are used, most of the carbohydrates in chili beans are complex carbohydrates that take a longer time to digest. The longer digestion time means that the beans will keep you full for a longer period of time. Beans also contain zinc, folate, and magnesium which helps prevent oxidation and aging, and which prevent cardiovascular problems such as stroke and heart attacks.
Although tire are some purists who limit the ingredients that may be included in chili beans, plenty of people experiment with their chili beans and add tomatoes, vegetables, and other spices. Choose the ingredients that suit you for a highly nourishing and satisfying dish.