Each and every variety of beans and peas contains the soluble fiber and phytonutrients that help lower blood pressure, and promote overall good health

Any way you count them, dried beans and peas (legumes) are a bargain. They’re widely available, inexpensive, versatile, incredibly nutritious, and each and every variety of beans and peas contains the soluble fiber and phytonutrients that help lower blood pressure, and promote overall good health.

Black beans, also known as turtle beans, are a staple in many Latin American and South
American cuisines, and are often used to make a rich, complex soup that makes a heartwarming and heart-healthy meal.

Ingredients

    • 1 pound black beans
    • 1 large tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
    • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
    • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 to 3 drops hickory smoke*, optional
    • Optional garnishes: diced red onion, diced seeded jalapeno pepper, reduced-fat sour cream

Preparation

Place beans in a colander; rinse under cold water and pick through to remove any shriveled beans or debris. Place beans in a large saucepot with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil a full 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let soak 1 hour. Drain water from beans in pot. Add cold water to cover 3 inches over beans. Add the, tomato, onion, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, salt and black pepper. If desired, stir in hickory smoke. Bring to a boil, uncovered, medium heat, skimming off foam as needed. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until beans are very tender, about 3 hour, adding more water as necessary to keep beans from becoming dry. Remove about 1½ cups of beans with liquid to a large bowl. Use a potato masher or large spoon to thoroughly mash beans; return mixture to pot. To serve, ladle soup into bowls; serve, if desired with garnishes.

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