Chickpeas and hummus are quickly becoming a staple in kitchens around America. Essentially, hummus is a Mediterranean bean dip and spread made from mashed chickpeas. But try mixing it up and get creative in the kitchen. Start with the same idea of a protein-packed dip, but use other beans and flavors you may already have in your kitchen.
There are a handful of basic building blocks of a bean spread: beans, liquid and seasonings. Beans, due to their incredibly fibrous composition, will not blend smoothly unless a liquid is added. To make a successful bean dip, first place the contents of your drained and rinsed can of beans into a food processor. Next, add seasonings: Spices, herbs, roasted vegetables or a touch of balsamic are some ideas to get the taste rolling. The important part is to match the flavor profile of the liquid with the spice mixture used. You could use some basic extra virgin olive oil or lemon juice. For more depth and richness, try something like a decadent truffle oil.
And finally, this home cook’s additional tip: Leave some beans out of the food processor and lightly hand mash, then add them into the dip before serving in order to add another element of texture. Happy bean-ing!
Bean Dip Recipes
Recipes by Crystal Petrello, MS, RD
For the recipes below, combine all ingredients in the food processor and blend — *unless otherwise noted.
• 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
• 3 Tbsp Canola oil
• Contents of 1 taco seasoning packet
• ½ cup frozen corn, thawed, leave whole*
• About half of 1 Newman's Own Mango Salsa jar (use 8 of the 16 ounces)
• 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
• Top with avocado chunks*
High Brow Bean
• 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 Tbsp white truffle oil, more as needed
• 3 tsp minced garlic
• 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• Fresh ground white pepper, to taste
• toasted, chopped almonds to garnish*
Enjoy any of these dips with low-sodium chips, pita bread or vegetables for a snack. Spread onto a wrap or sandwich for a healthier binder than mayonnaise.