That being said, I wasn’t always a bean-lover! Growing up in the Midwest, I was a huge fan of anything baked beans (you know — the canned navy beans swimming in brown sugar and bacon). But other than that, beans hardly ever made it to my plate. I even remember picking through bowls of chilli to eat the meat and leave the kidney beans behind. Well times have changed, and now I can’t get enough of them. (And neither can my toddler Liam!)
Black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), black-eyed peas, pinto beans… there are so many different ways to add these gems into your diet:
- Add chickpeas or black beans to salad greens
- Make a delicious bean dip like hummus (or the black bean dip below!)
- Add lentils or kidney beans to a hearty soup
- Use bean purées in baking (e.g. black bean brownies or white bean cakes)
- Incorporate any combination of beans & rice into your weekly meal plan
- Mix beans into guacamole or salsa
- Add black beans to a breakfast egg burrito
The following recipe is one I make all the time in our house. I adapted it from one at Edible Perspective. This black bean dip is extremely versatile, but our favourite way to enjoy it is with cut-up vegetables, baked pita chips, blue corn tortilla chips, or slathered on quesadillas. When Liam was younger, he even enjoyed eating the purée by the spoonful without the added spices. (We introduced beans between the 8 and 10-month mark). Just make sure to gradually incorporate beans into your little one’s diet to avoid excess gas and bloating. And, don’t be afraid to experiment with this dip and adjust the garlic, cayenne pepper, and other spices to please your family’s taste buds. Added bonus — this black bean dip can easily be frozen into individual portions in ice cube trays for later use. Without further ado… here’s the recipe!
Easy Black Bean Dip
Yield: 1 1/2 cup
2 cups black beans, rinsed + drained (540 ml, 19 fl oz can)
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze of lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt + pepper, to taste
Paprika, for garnish
- In a large food processor or blender, add all ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Taste and adjust spices if desired.
- Add more water if thinner consistency is desired.
- Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve (for up to 2-3 days in refrigerator).