Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pinto Bean Dip

(pictured: Pinto Bean Dip topped with Cilantro and tortilla chips on the side)

Beans are a great food to add to your diet if you are eating for health. When you combine beans with a whole grain make a nearly fat free protein. The fiber in beans is thought to help reduce cholesterol. Pinto beans are also an excellent source of folate that is necessary to keep your homocysteine levels low reducing your risk of heart attack.

We like bean dips made from many different beans and flavored in different ways. This bean dip is inspired by the flavors of refried beans, but without the added fat, and with a more well rounded and interesting flavor.

My husband and I can eat an entire batch of this in a week when you use it for something everyday. Typically we to use it as the "glue" to hold veggies on a cold sandwich. Our favorite is cold roasted veggies on a whole grain baguette with this bean dip slathered on both bread slices to hold everything in place. If you like quesadillas, this bean dip is substantial enough to hold veggies on your tortillas. We also mix this bean dip with whole black beans, roasted veggies and brown rice and roll that into whole grain tortillas and then cover with diced tomatoes and vegan nacho cheese for a dish that resembles enchiladas.

Pinto Bean Dip
makes 14 servings


1 pound of dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and cooked until tender
2 cups of bean liquid from cooking, reserved
juice of one lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of Chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
½ teaspoon of cumin seed, toasted
1 tablespoon of hot crushed peppers (wet hots)

Optional Ingredients:

¼ cup of gremolata or cilantro
5 or 6 sun dried tomatoes, sliced


Place cooked pinto beans, lemon juice, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin and wet hots in the food processor. Process until all beans are mashed. Test consistency of bean dip. If bean dip is too thick add a few tablespoons of the reserved bean liquid and process. Continue to add bean liquid a few tablespoons at a time until the bean dip is the consistency you desire. If using the sun dried tomatoes add them at the end and process. You want them to maintain some of their texture.

To serve, sprinkle the gremolata or cilantro on the top of the dip and serve with pita crisps or tortilla chips.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 121.64
Calories From Fat (3%)- 4.23
Total Fat - 0.47g
Saturated Fat - 0.09g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 141.84mg
Potassium - 491.39mg
Total Carbohydrates - 22.09g
Fiber - 5.44g
Sugar - 0.86g
Protein - 7.44g


This bean dip has a nice flavor. It is not hot, but does have a little hint of heat in the background from the crushed red peppers. There is also a hint of smokiness from the cumin. The flavors of this bean dip are not so overpowering that you can't use it as you would other more neutral tasting bean dips.

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