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  • Kristen Nickels, MS, RDN, LD

Dietitian's Choice: Pineapple Black Bean Salsa


Fruit is naturally sweet and contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, and beans are a great source of fiber, which makes them an excellent carbohydrate choice. Though you might not normally consider eating fruit and beans together, this recipe proves that doing so can be delicious and satisfying.


Pineapple is sweet and extremely flavorful, and black beans have a mild taste that goes well with many other flavors. Fresh pineapple is delicious in this recipe, and most grocery stores have fresh, pre-cut fruit available near the produce section, which is an option for using fresh pineapple without going through the process of cutting it. All of that said, canned pineapple is a fine alternative, too. Just make sure to choose pineapple canned in water or its own juice. Avoid pineapple that’s canned in syrup; your blood sugar will thank you!


This salsa can be eaten atop a green salad, fish tacos, or grilled chicken; it can be included in a homemade wrap or pita; or, it can be eaten with a fork as a side dish of any meal you choose. It’s incredibly versatile and extremely tasty. You won’t regret trying it, especially during this hot summer weather!


Pineapple Black Bean Salsa


Ingredients:

1 medium pineapple, chopped (about 4 cups) OR ~4 cups canned pineapple

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin


Directions:

In a large bowl, add chopped pineapple, black beans, red onion, garlic, and cilantro. Make sure that beans are rinsed well prior to being added.


In a small bowl, combine lime juice, olive oil, salt, chili powder, and cumin. Whisk to combine. Pour over pineapple and black bean mixture in a large bowl, and gently stir to combine.


Salsa may be served immediately but is best after flavors have marinated together in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Leftover salsa will keep for several days if covered in the refrigerator.


Notes:

It’s recommended that fresh lime juice be used, as the concentrated, bottled variety is more bitter. One large lime or two small limes should yield about three tablespoons of juice.


Variations:

One-half of chopped red bell pepper is an excellent addition to this salsa.


One jalapeño, seeded and diced, can be used for a spicier variation.


For a more intensely flavored salsa, a larger quantity of onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and/or chili powder can be added based on personal preference.


Benefits:

Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, and a good source of B vitamins and fiber. It also contains bromelain, which has components important for digestion. Black beans are an excellent source of fiber, folate, and magnesium, as well as a good vegetarian source of protein and iron. They also contain flavonoids, which are known to be anti-inflammatory.

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