If you’re looking to add some color into your diet to surprise your guests, then you’ll want to consider some black foods to give your dish some spice and flavor, as well as jam-packing it with nutrients.
Antioxidants and anthocyanins are responsible for the black coloring of foods and offer many health benefits, which is why you should consider these 23 foods that are black for your next meal.
A Complete List of Foods That Are Black
1. Black Beans
There are lots of varieties of beans around the world that are black in color, but most often, they are smaller and packed with flavor. These beans are usually sold in bulk and make a great base for any meal.
In particular, you can find this food used commonly in Mexican cuisine for foods like tamales and paired with rice dishes. In Japan, these beans are actually sometimes used as a way to add filling to certain sweets and candies.
2. Black Garlic
A unique flavored garlic, black garlic is made by fermenting traditional garlic until it takes on a particular flavor profile.
There’s nothing in the world quite like black garlic, and the allicin in it not only adds flavor, but it strengthens the immune system and can help lower allergic reactions to certain compounds. You’ll often find it in Asian foods like tofu, shrimp, and ramen dishes.
See Also: Garlic Powder vs Garlic Salt
Blackberries are an iconic food that is delicious to eat right off the vine. Known as the black mulberry, these fruits have a lot of health benefits as well, containing flavonoids and anthocyanosides that have medicinal properties in the treatment of several diseases.
Naturally, blackberries are used in a range of sweet dishes, particularly pies and cobblers to name a few.
4. Black Bread
Black bread is a trending food around the world that has taken the restaurant industry by storm. Quite simply, black bread is regular bread that is injected with squid or cuttlefish in.
The ink undergoes a thermal process before being frozen and mixed with the dough as a cooking ingredient. Thankfully, this ink isn’t toxic, and black bread is used in a variety of food to add some color and flavor to many different dishes.
5. Black Lentils
Black lentils are sometimes called caviar lentils because of their uncanny resemblance to caviar, but this legume is a powerhouse when it comes to nutritional value.
For starters, it has upwards of 30% more protein than other kinds of lentils, making it a great source of protein that is vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Black lentils have a simple, but recognizable flavor and makes for a great meal when seasoned. Similarly, lentil curry is a popular Indian dish that is packed with flavor and spice to make your mouth water.
6. Black Corn
Corn is one of Mexico’s greatest ingredients and is popular in hundreds of different authentic dishes. The different between black corn and traditional corn is in the flavoring. It tends to have a more neutral flavor, and this special black corn is only grown in certain regions of Mexico. It’s used in tortillas and various drinks.
Black corn contains lots of antioxidants and anthocyanins, which have various medical benefits on the body.
7. Black Olives
A popular choice in Italian cuisine, black olives have a distinctive flavor that can add to a variety of dishes. It can be turned into black olive bread, put into salads, or added to pasta dishes and pizzas for a little extra spritz of flavor.
Black olives also have a range of health benefits, including vitamin A and vitamin E content that helps your skin, eyes, and brain health when consumed in the right amounts.
8. Black Potatoes
Spain’s pride and joy, the black potato is a very unique food that is nothing like your standard potato. It is flesh and creamy with a very distinct flavor that is slightly sweet.
You can pair it with lots of other Spanish flavors to create a potato salad or a delicious stew. You can also roast or bake this delicious food to add a great side dish to your next meal.
9. Black Rice
A staple food in Asia, black rice is a high-fiber rice that has a similar flavor to brown rice. Not only is it aesthetically beautiful, but it also has a unique and distinct flavor that will delight your guests with its uniqueness.
One interesting dish that features black rice is the black rice, corn, and cranberries, which has a range of distinct flavors that are sure to please the palate.
10. Black Spaghetti
Black spaghetti is simply spaghetti that is prepared with cuttlefish ink. The distinct coloring of this food makes it a more exotic choice for a meal. You can even prepare this dish yourself rather than buying it from the store. The cuttlefish ink doesn’t particularly affect the flavor of the spaghetti, but it certainly adds an interesting aesthetic element to it.
11. Black Soybeans
Rich in all sorts of goodies that benefit your body, soybeans are great in a plethora of dishes. Black soybeans are rich in protein, fiber, and minerals, and are a great way to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. They’re also great for keeping you regular and can help with urinary infections.
Black soybeans are used in soy sauce and make a great base ingredient for several Asian dishes.
12. Sesame Seeds
Not only are sesame seeds a great snack to munch on, but they’re a great source of health fats, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.
They make for a great way to add crunch to a dish and add some simple aesthetic color as a topping.
13. Black Tea
One of the most common drinks in the world, black tea is a great recovery option after a workout. Black tea is also associated with a reduced risk of heart conditions. Black tea is essentially just dried tea leaves that are put into a small bag and left to infuse the water or milk with flavor.
Naturally, these teas contain high amounts of polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties and help reduce the risk of certain diseases.
A unique fruit with bright green skin, the sapote has a gorgeous soft texture and is very sweet to eat. In Mexico, Sapote is usually used to prepare ice cream, or zapotada, a candy made using sapote as well as orange juice and sugar.
15. Chaga Mushrooms
These are a unique species of mushroom native to certain regions of North America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. With a strong and distinct flavor, these mushrooms also boast lots of health benefits, including antioxidant properties. It is also beneficial in the prevention of certain diseases.
Chocolate is one of the most well-loved foods in the world and has a lot of health benefits. It is made from cocoa beans and has benefits for the brain and heart. It’s used in a number of dishes and is one of the most iconic desserts of all times.
17. Chia Seeds
Hailing from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Mexico, the seeds of the chia plant are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and carbs. They can also mitigate the risk of type 2 diabetes and make a great addition to many dishes, including chia puddings.
18. Chilhuacle Chili
This kind of chili is only produced in a specific region of Mexico and is very scarce for good reason. It’s used to create a distinct Oaxacan black mole and chichilo. It’s distinctive flavor makes this black food one of a kind.
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with millions of people drinking it in a day. While it does have some benefits like improving memory and concentration, it can also be harmful in high doses. Coffee is made from cacao beans and is usually filtered to drink.
Believe it or not, the food we associate with a creamy white color actually comes from the fruit of an orchid native to Mexico. At the end of the preparation process, vanilla is a dark brown or black color and used as a flavoring in creams, syrups, sodas, and confectionery.
Avocados are a delicious food that is rich in fiber and healthy fats. The creamy, fatty texture of this food is second to none and it makes a great spread on savory foods. Avocados are great in smoothies.
See Also: What does avocado taste like
Tamarind is a tasty fruit that has an exotic taste. Inside the hard black shell, you’ll find orange skin that’s soft and sweet.
When processed, seaweed takes on a black color. As odd as it may seem, it’s a nutritional powerhouse, offering potassium calcium, magnesium zinc, as well as a host of other health benefits.
There are lots of delicious foods that are black for you to start adding to your diet every day. If you want something that looks a little bit different from the ordinary food you eat on a day to day basis, then you should start incorporating some of these delicious foods into your meals!