Beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. These nutritional powerhouses are full of protein and fiber and are pretty much fat and sugar free! They are amazingly versatile and can work in so many different cuisines. But comparing Pinto Beans vs Black Beans, what are the differences?
Appearance and Texture
Black beans are small, oval and solid black in appearance. They are denser than pinto beans and retain their structure without getting super mushy when cooked.
Pinto beans are a bit larger than black beans and are speckled with different shades of brown. When they are cooked they lose some of their darker coloring and turn slightly pinkish. Black beans look virtually the same dried or cooked. Pinto beans are softer and creamier than black beans.
While most beans have subtle flavors, there still are differences. Pinto beans have an earthy, slightly nutty flavor. They mostly take on the taste of whatever they are being cooked with. Black beans are heartier and have a more complex flavor.
There are so many health benefits to eating beans. They are known for being great for heart health and are a great source of protein without any cholesterol.
All bean varieties are relatively low in calories. There are some slight differences between different kinds. A serving of pinto beans has 100 calories while a serving of black beans has 114.
Beans are excellent sources of protein. Black beans win this category with about 8 grams of protein per serving. Pinto beans have a lower amount at about 6 grams of protein. But as the serving size is only ½ cup of cooked beans, it's a lot of protein in a small amount of food.
One of the best reasons to eat beans is because of their fiber content. Americans on average get nowhere near enough fiber...especially children. All beans contain a good amount of fiber but let's compare black and pinto beans. For one serving of beans, black beans contain 8 grams of fiber while pinto beans contain about 4.5.
Both black beans and pinto beans contain similar amounts of carbohydrates. Black beans contain 20 grams while pinto beans contain 18 grams of carbs.
Blood Sugar Levels
While beans contain a good amount of carbohydrates, they do not spike your blood sugar levels. This is because beans are a complex carb, not a simple carb. Complex carbs are digested more slowly, thus keeping your blood sugar levels stable.
If you are looking to make sure that you are consuming enough B vitamins, you may want to add more beans to your meals...specifically black beans and pinto beans. According to 15 Healthy Foods High in B Vitamins, a serving of black beans contains 32% of your recommended daily value. Pinto beans tops that at 37%.
Which Is Better?
Nutritionally speaking, both pinto beans and black beans are two of the healthiest beans. They are both low in calories, high in fiber and protein. As black beans have a little more protein and fiber, they could be considered slightly healthier. However, pinto beans are also extremely healthy so it's a win-win no matter which kind you eat.
Both pinto beans and black beans work great in Mexican cuisine. As pinto beans develop a creamy texture when cooked, they are great for refried beans, sandwich spreads, and bean dips. Black beans work great in soups and in any dish where you don't want your beans to get mushy. They are great in burritos with veggies and rice.
There are so many delicious recipes that use these high fiber foods. These are some of my favorite recipes. All of the following can fit in with a vegan diet.
- Spicy Black Bean Soup by Cookie and Kate. This is an easy, spicy and delicious soup.
- Looking for a chili that has both black and pinto beans? Check out Ultimate Vegan Crock Pot Chili.
- Easy Vegan Mexican Casserole With Rice This 1 pot super easy casserole recipe works on it own or used as a burrito filling. It uses black beans.
- Beans for dessert?! If you haven't tried black bean brownies you're missing out. You don't taste the beans but you get all the nutritional benefits. Check out Fudgy Vegan Black Bean Brownies with Mint.
- Looking for a yummy recipe that has both black and pinto beans? Check out Mexican 3 Bean Salad with Corn. This works great as a main dish, appetizer or a side dish.
- Easy Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans This easy recipe uses dried beans that don't need to soak ahead of time. They are great on top of rice, a baked potato, or made into refried beans.
Where Are They From?
Black beans came from Central and South America while pinto beans came from both Mexico and Peru. Pinto beans are commonly eaten in Mexican cuisine, often in refried beans. Both of these common beans can be found in Latin American cuisine.
Are dried beans better than canned beans?
That's completely up to you. Dried beans are cheaper than canned beans and also contain less sodium. However, using canned beans is a huge time saver. You can also get low sodium canned beans and when you rinse the beans it lowers the sodium content as well.
What's the more versatile bean?
Since black beans can work in both savory and sweet dishes, I think they are the most versatile.
What is the most common type of bean eaten in the United States?
Pinto beans are the most popular bean in the US.
What does "pinto" mean?
The word "pinto" is a Spanish word that means painted as it's appearance suggests.
If you are looking to eat a healthy diet or just include more plant-based proteins, beans are the perfect food for you. Beans are a staple ingredient in recipes in many parts of the world and can be a great addition to your meals. They are inexpensive and can be found at grocery stores everywhere.
It comes down to your personal preference in which kind of bean to eat and what type of dish you want to use them in. The main difference is in their texture. If you want a bean with a soft texture, pinto beans are great. If you want a bean that holds its shape when cooked, black beans are the better option. But both black and pinto beans have a high nutritional value of protein and fiber and are great to eat!