What I've Learned So Far
There’s a lot of bad press out there concerned canned food. High in sodium, cans lined with BPA, not as nutritious as fresh or frozen. So I did some digging to see what I could find. Turns out that canned food may not be so evil after all. That said, it’s still a good idea to look for BPA-free cans, and if you’re on a low-sodium diet, make sure to get low-sodium canned food.
So just what is BPA anyway? Bisphenol A is a chemical found in a lot of hard plastic items (like water bottles). It’s an endocrine disruptor, which means it messes with your hormones. And hormones control a whole lot in our bodies, so it’s best not to mess them if you can help it. It’s been linked to health problems like infertility, breast and prostate cancer, heart disease and more. BPA is present in the environment and manufactured products.
While there’s research and opinion out there that BPA isn’t really dangerous, why not eliminate additional chemicals when you can? Just opt for BPA-free cans because you’re probably getting enough BPA in your dental work, theater tickets, and any bottled water you might drink or canned food you’re consuming in restaurants. If you look at the cans in the photo below, you’ll see what looks like a red starburst at the top right of the can – that’s a “BPA Free” declaration. Just look for that on your cans and you’ll be fine.
• This recipe is vegan and gluten free.
• It’s easiest to drain and rinse black beans in a colander. Just dump them in, rinse them in cold water until the water runs clear, and then let them drain while you open the other cans and dump stuff in the crockpot.
• This is one of those meals that actually tastes better on the second or third day, so if you can, cook it up and then let it sit in the ‘fridge for a couple of days before you eat it.
• You can top this with shredded cheddar or jack cheese, and/or sour cream (at which point it’s obviously not vegan anymore, but still vegetarian). It works great as a soup with crackers, as a Southwest meal with chips, or I’ll be sharing a recipe for some killer cornbread soon, which is a great accompaniment for this meal.
• You can make this hotter if you’d like by using hotter chilies. I’ve also made this recipe using salsa when I was out of tomatoes. Play with it – you’ll get different flavors and find out what you like.