peanut butter black bean dip

I know what you’re all thinking, so I’ll just say it for you: there is no flattering way to photograph two brown colored bean dips. Fact.

Hopefully, the title of this post is enticing you even as you snicker at the image. Two creamy, super healthy bean dips: black bean chocolate and peanut butter dip, and sweet cinnamon adzuki bean dip. Both are unexpected, yet delightful spins on the notion of “hummus”—sweet variations on the theme. Both present you with a more nutrient dense and lower fat alternative to almond butter or peanut butter, if you’re looking for a new sandwich filling, oat topper, or something to dip fresh fruit in. Both are inexpensive, quick to make, and feature a short list of ingredients. It took me a while to discover sweet bean dips, but now that I have, there’s no going back.

The adzuki bean dip is a close cousin of my recent sweet cinnamon spiced kidney bean spread.

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A lot of you loved the idea of this recipe, but to my surprise, a lot of you were put off by the idea of using kidney beans, and said you wanted to try it with either chickpeas or adzuki beans instead. While I do love me some kidney beans—they’re fantastic sources of lots of minerals, including manganese, molybendum, and iron—I also adore most all beans, and adzuki beans are a special favorite. Adzuki beans, which are native to east Asia and the Himalayas, are small, red/brown in color, and they’re often used in sweet, dessert-like applications. More interesting still, these beans are relatively high in zinc (1 serving gives you 25% of your RDA), which is sometimes tricky to source in a vegan diet; oysters, meat, and scallops are often presented as the richest sources, though all vegans should take note that pumpkin seeds, peanuts, crimini mushrooms, sesame seeds, and adzuki beans are all very good sources.

So is dark chocolate. What a burden for us all.

Anyway, I’m delighted to be presenting a very similar recipe to my sweet kidney bean spread, this time with adzuki beans as the main star. This dip is absolutely scrumptious, and I love the addition of sunflower seed butter; if you can get your hands on it, it really does have a different taste than other nut butters!

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Cinnamon Spiced Adzuki Bean Dip (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 4

2 cups adzuki beans, cooked at home or canned
4 pitted dates (more if you want it sweeter), soaked 4+ hours and drained of water
1 heaping tbsp sunflower seed butter (peanut, cashew, or almond butter will also work!)
1 tbsp mellow white miso or 1/8 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup water

Place all ingredients except for water in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse to combine, and then run the motor. Drizzle in water until the dip is super smooth; you may need  a few tablespoons extra water as you go along.

Absolutely delicious. A bit of this on Ezekiel toast or a rice cake with sliced pear is just about my idea of a heavenly snack!

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The other sweet bean dip I experimented with this week was a black bean dip with chocolate and peanut butter. I don’t think I need to say much more, do I?

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Black Bean Spread (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 4

2 cups black beans, cooked at home or canned
6 pitted dates (more if you want it sweeter), soaked 4+ hours and drained of water
2 tbsp peanut butter (cashew or almond butter will also work!)
2 heaping tbsp raw cacao
Pinch sea salt
1/4 cup water

Place all ingredients except for water in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse to combine, and then run the motor. Drizzle in water until the dip is super smooth; you may need  a few tablespoons extra water as you go along.

I have a slight preference for the cinnamon spread, only because I’m a veritable cinnamon junkie. But this dip is also stupendously tasty, and once again, it’s a really nice way to enjoy something that’s reminiscent of peanut butter, but invested with all of the nutrient density and deliciousness of legumes.

Side by side:

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peanut butter black bean dip

Hope these dips give you all a great sense of the possibilities for bean dip—it’s not just a savory dish!

So, there was lots of interesting feedback on my review of Thrive Foods Direct yesterday! To all of you who expressed hesitation/frustration with the cost: I hear you. As I said in my review, I wouldn’t be able to use the service myself, but I’m presenting it as an option for those who would spend equivalent or more money on hotel food or on a non-vegan meal delivery service. That may not describe many of us, but it does describe some!

To Elizabeth, who inquired about the meal plans presented on the Vega website (you can peek at them here): I agree. Too low calorie, especially when presented for those who are unusually athletic, or in training for a race or competition. To me, “Vega fruit dip (slices of apple, banana, orange), 1/3 serving Natural Vega, 1/3 serving” is a snack, not lunch, so perhaps the meals are meant to be supplemented with other foods! I’d be curious to hear if you get a response to your query. (Edited to add: Brendan responded to this yesterday by mentioning that meals are customizable to suit individual caloric needs; check out yesterday’s post to see his response if you are curios about this!)

And to those of you who asked about lower-cost vegan/raw protein powders and supplements: oh, you are in luck. I have a new protein powder round up post coming soon, full of my take on nutrition, cost, and quality. And that’ll happen as soon as I’m back in DC, with my beloved Vitamix.

Speaking of which, it’s time to meet a friend for a drink at Temple Bar in NYC. It’s good to be home.

xo

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