Whip up a black bean hummus
By Danielle Rehfeld
Vegetarians often find themselves spending a lot of energy trying to make sure their diets are filled with healthy proteins. And even meat eaters need a break from the same old grilled chicken breasts and roasted salmon.
Beans are an excellent fiber-rich source of protein. Black beans in particular are my favorite. A staple in many Latin cultures, black beans often get overlooked by shoppers scouring the aisles for lean, low sugar, low fat, low cholesterol proteins.
Besides running you a whopping .79 cents to $2.25 per can, black beans are widely accessible, and their mild flavor lends itself to so many spices, herbs and preparations.
Any easy go-to favorite I like to make is black bean hummus. It’s as easy as draining a few cans of beans and pulsing them with garlic, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.
Have it on hand to nibble on with sliced vegetables for a change from the same old store-bought lemony chick pea hummus.
EASY BLACK BEAN HUMMUS
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.
3 15.5-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed well under cold water
3 garlic cloves
1 Cup fresh cilantro leaves, rinsed and dried
4 Tbsps. fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
2-3 Tbsps. good quality olive oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the garlic until chopped. Add the black beans, cilantro, lime juice, 1/2 tsp., salt and about 8 cracks of fresh black pepper.
Pulse until chunky. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil 1 Tbsp. at a time until creamy. Scrape down the bowl and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper, as needed.
Cook’s note: Black beans can be simmered with onions, jalapenos, ground cumin, a bay leaf, salt and pepper for an easy side dish. Try combining rinsed beans, chopped bell peppers, red onions and raw spinach with lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper for a lean salad any time of year.