Remember the days when the smell of spices would float from the kitchen and fill the air of your childhood home.
Our sense of smell carries memories of the past, people, and places more vividly than any other sense. Often overlooked, it is the sense we take for granted, except when it’s absent. Like many things in life, we don’t appreciate their role in our lives until they are gone.
Digestion actually first begins with your sense of smell.
Without it, food would be tasteless and lack sabor(flavor). Smell enhances the flavor of food in the same way that acoustics round out the sound of an orchestra in a concert hall. It gives it body and texture beyond what your taste buds can discern.
I remember one time walking down the streets of Venice (Italy), when I caught a whiff of freshly baked bread that took me back to my childhood — and it instantly whipped up an image of my grandmother cooking in the kitchen.
Both of my grandmothers were raised in Cuba. And one of the things I loved most about them was that they cooked with so much love you could feel it in their recipes.
That couldn’t be more true than in this family recipe for Frijoles Negros Cubanos (Cuban Black Beans). The aroma would fill the house with the scent of onion, garlic, pepper, and that ‘smell of home’ you knew would land ever-so-happily in your gut.
As we conclude The Lectin Paradox and move into September, where we’ll be talking about fermentation, with my favorite fermentationist Summer Bock, I wanted to share a recipe that showcases the incredible flavors lectin-containing foods can offer.
And at the same time, show you how to prepare this family recipe in a ‘gut-friendly way’ that reduces the lectin content — to enjoy black beans in a flavorful, multi-sensory way.
This Frijoles Negros Cubanos (Cuban Black Beans) recipe is traditionally enjoyed with white rice — and to convert it’s starch into a resistant starch (a prebiotic that feeds the friendly gut flora), I cool the rice before serving.
Trust me, you’ll be the hit of any Labor Day picnic or gathering if you bring along these flavorful black beans! They are a great complement to any salad, tacos, and/or rice dish.
And the best part…
Everyone will wonder the secret to making beans that don’t leave you with a bloated, sad gut.
Enjoy the aromas of my Cuban kitchen this weekend.
And get ready for a month of Fermentation, as I team up with Summer Bock to break down fermentation into easily digestible morsels, ending with practical ways to start fermenting this month.
Happy Labor Day Weekend!