Today our guest blogger is
I love chili, but I don’t always want to make it in the summer, since it’s best when it cooks slowly and is eaten hot and steaming.
This recipe brings the awesome flavors of chili spices to a kidney bean dip, and is perfect to enjoy with fresh veggies on a hot summer afternoon.
Spices are a great thing to add to a healthy dish because they make it super flavorful, but they also add nutrients and tons of antioxidants. Plus, they help stimulate your digestive system, so that you break down your food better and absorb more of the nutrients in the meal.
When you add hot spices, like cayenne, they help to suppress your appetite. So if you’re looking to lose weight, adding some spice can help you limit overeating.
Hot spices can also get you sweating, which doesn’t always get looked on as a positive but it’s fantastic! A little sweat helps cool you down in hot weather (which is why cultures in the hottest climates eat the spiciest food – think of Mexican and Indian food), and sweat is one way for your body to get rid of toxins.
So with all those benefits, it’s good to get a little spicy now and then.
You don’t want to overdo it, though, because too much spice if you’re not used to it can cause problems in digestion (again, think of Mexican and Indian food…). Stick with what’s right for your body, but try branching out from your regular seasonings sometimes.
Chili-Spiced Kidney Bean Dip
Prep time: 10 min (or 5 in the food processor)
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans (14 oz can)
- 1 carrot
- 1 tomato
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice from concentrate (or 1/4 cup fresh)
- 2-4 Tbsp water, more or less for consistency
- 1 tsp chili powder*, more or less to your spice level
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional, but pretty fantastic)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, more or less – to taste
*or make your own with cumin, oregano and cayenne
If you’re using canned, rinse and drain the beans. If you’re using dried beans, you need to cook them before you start making the dip.
If you’re mixing together by hand, grate the carrot, dice the tomato, finely chop the fresh herbs and press or finely mince the garlic. Then stir the beans, vegetables and spices together in a bowl until it’s thoroughly mixed.
If you’re working with a food processor, you can use a grating blade to grate the carrot, and then pulse the fresh herbs, tomato, beans and seasonings to get a chunky texture. If you like it smooth, you can purée everything. I’d still recommend pressing or finely mincing the garlic to avoid getting a big clump of garlic in your mouth.
Once you have everything mixed, taste and adjust the seasoning to get the spice level you like.