There are several varieties of white beans, including navy, Great Northern, and cannellini, or white kidney beans. They are grown throughout Central and South America, the U.S., Canada and in regions of the Middle East. A staple of the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century, navy beans are perfect for this dish. They’re commonly found dried in bags, and in bulk sections, in most grocery stores. You can also find them cooked, in jars, boxes or cans.
Cook: Like many other legumes, these can be purchased dry, then soaked and pressure-cooked. But that’s often a roadblock that keeps people from eating them. I choose white beans in a jar, box or can, but try to find them without disodium EDTA, a chemical preservative. Just drain and rinse and the beans are ready to go.
Eat: A good bean dip is delicious with any vegetable or smeared on crackers or bread. I also like to put it in a sandwich with avocado, tomato and sprouts.
Store: If you want this dip to last, double the recipe then store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to four days.
Waste: As I always say, use stems and leaves of your leafy green herbs rather than waste any. And if you have any leafy herbs on their last leg, or even greens like arugula or kale, use them instead of the cilantro.
Connect: This dip is a great way to gather your kids around some veggies. It’s also a crowd pleaser for friends and family.
- 1 (15 ounce) can white beans,* drained and rinsed
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 limes, juiced, about 1/4 cup
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, packed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place drained and rinsed beans in a food processor with remaining ingredients and purée until smooth and creamy.
Nutritional information: 1 cup cooked yields 15 grams of protein and 68 percent of the daily value of fiber. They are a very good source of folate, copper and manganese, in addition to other vitamins and minerals.