HOUSE AND HOME THE HEALTHY KITCHEN

Black Bean Dip

Written by Tracy Kaye Holly

Easy to prepare, light ingredients, super tasty and nutritious. That’s how I would describe this recipe for Black Bean Dip.

Black Bean Dip is not only for dipping raw veggies or chips, you can also top meat, fish or chicken or use as a side dish for steamed vegetables. It’s a wonderful accompaniment to any meal.

I’ve made this dip with whole cumin seeds and ground cumin fresh roasted, with tahini and without and tried both lemon and lime juice. Each and every time, it’s always a hit!

Here’s the scoop on these little black beans. They’re loaded with a rare combination of both protein and fiber. Per 100 grams of beans you’ll get 21 grams protein, 16 grams fiber, 63 grams carbohydrates and a whopping 1500 grams of potassium. Black beans are very in low in fat and sodium.

The skins of black beans are rich in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are responsible for the deep reds, blues, purples and magenta colors seen in blueberries, grapes and açaí berries. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants.

Anthocyanins are known to decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer. They also play an important role in the prevention of macular degeneration by protecting the eyes from free radical damage, increasing circulation and stabilizing collagen structures.

Black beans also provide heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation. They’re an excellent source of molybdenum which is an element involved in energy production and lipid metabolism. In addition, black beans are a very good source of heart-healthy dietary fiber and folate.

Cumin has a nutty peppery flavor and plays an important role in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine where it’s a key component of curry powder. Whole cumin provides intense bursts of flavor when you bite into the individual seeds. Ground cumin integrates more fully with other ingredients and seasonings. Whether you use whole cumin seeds or ground cumin, this spice has the ability to really enhance the flavor of your dish. A little goes a long way!

To get the freshest flavor of this spice, it’s best to grind your own powder from cumin seeds. Here’s how…
In a dry heavy skillet, over medium heat toast the whole seeds until they give off an aroma and change color to a darker hue (stir with wooden spoon continuously). Do not over roast the seeds or they will turn bitter.

Cool and grind in a seed grinder or mortar and pestle to make a very fine powdery texture. Easy!

Cumin isn’t only for enhancing the flavor of food. It’s also known to improve digestion and prevent flatulence. Cumin can help to cure stomach ache and heartburn and cumin oil acts as a sedative for curing insomnia.

Black Bean Dip
This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Stir well before serving.
1 can (19 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves (or more) fresh crushed garlic
Juice of one fresh lemon or lime
1 Tablespoon Tahini (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin or whole cumin seed
½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to your liking (cayenne is optional)
¼ cup filtered water, add gradually until the desired consistency

Mix everything in food processor or blender until smooth. Enjoy!

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About the author

Tracy Kaye Holly

Tracy Holly is the Executive Director and public relations officer for the Cory Holly Institute and a Certified Sports Nutrition Advisor. She is a strong health & fitness activist and is a great believer in alternative natural medicine. She is the author of The Athlete's Cookbook, Sports Nutrition For Kids and lectures to women's groups, children groups and at trade shows on Health, Wellness and Staying Fit. 
 In addition to being a fantastic whole food cook, Tracy has an extensive and eclectic background in Ballroom and Latin dancing. She successfully competed for Canada on a professional level and also owned and operated Spartacus Athletic Club, a coed fitness facility located in East Vancouver, British Columbia.