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Bean Dip Recipe: Spicy Horseradish Yet Cooling and Refreshing

In the hot summer months, this cooling yet spicy bean dip recipe is a go-to dish for snacks, parties, guests, or even just a light dinner when heat discourages you from cooking. You can think of this bean dip as a variation on hummus, but because it’s made with white beans instead of chickpeas, has a different color and texture, and the addition of horseradish gives it a unique and fun flavor.

Have you noticed that warm weather countries are the ones that use all the aromatic and hot spices and peppers, while colder climates usually have blander food? But on hot days, even in colder climates, peppers and spices are much appreciated. Of course, horseradish has long been used in colder climes, and it adds a lively flavor to the usually staid bean dip.

Don’t forget to serve this with lots of fresh vegetables to double down on fiber content, and to add some crunch to the smooth texture of this refreshing bean dip recipe.

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes when starting with canned beans

Serves: Four as a side dish, eight as an appetizer.

Bean Dip with Horseradish

2 cans cooked white beans, drained (Navy, Cannellini, or Great Northern beans)
1 1/3 cups dried white beans, cooked until soft
1 T white horseradish, prepared (without sugar, if available)
2 cloves garlic, roasted in skin until soft
2 T lemon juice
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
Chopped parsley or chives as garnish

In a blender or food processor, puree the beans, horseradish, garlic cloves with skin removed, 1 T each lemon juice and olive oil, and salt and pepper. Make sure to blend long enough to yield a smooth, even, and buttery texture.

Using a spatula, spoon the dip out into a serving bowl. If mixture is thick, or just based on personal preference, swirl in the rest of the lemon juice and olive oil.

Smooth top using spatula, and garnish with chopped parsley or chives.

Serve chilled or room temperature.

Serve with crackers, chips, pita bread or chips, or crudité vegetables such as radishes, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, or tomatoes.

Sprinkle a light dusting of paprika powder over the dip. Adding the parsley or chives garnish on top of the red paprika can make a festive red, green and white healthy Christmas dish, particularly in warm climates where a cooler appetizer might be appreciated.

Sprinkle black sesame seeds as a garnish. The black and light combination is striking and fanciful.

You can color this dip creatively and naturally: cooked or roasted red peppers can add an orange or red tinge either as a garnish or added before blending a 1/4 cup of cooked or canned pumpkin added before blending (adds an orange color and a smooth texture); a few cubes of well cooked beet in the blender will lend a crimson color (try a small amount before making a whole batch pink or red). 1-2 T of cooked tomato paste creates a very different kind of flavor and also gives a warmer color.

Beans are one of the best sources of fiber and magnesium, this dip recipe is certainly a low-fat food. We don’t ordinarily recommend low fat foods, as fat helps you feel full, but as part of a healthy diet this is an excellent side dish or snack for a warm day. The amount of garlic in this dip won’t impart garlic’s health benefits, but it does add flavor, and the more herbs and spices you add to your diet—particularly fresh ones—the better.

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Principal Author: Daniel J. Heller, N.D.
Last Modified: July 26, 2012

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