Last week, I wrote about low sugar alternatives to common sugary meals. Finding low sugar snacks can be quite challenging. One of my favourite go to low sugar snacks is raw vegetable sticks with dip. The most common dips seem to be hummus, guacamole and salsa. The poor cannellini bean is often overlooked in favour of the chickpea. However, as I had soaked a large batch of cannellini beans overnight and cooked them this morning, I thought I would forget about hummus for one day and make a cannellini bean dip instead.
You might not be that familiar with cannellini beans, but they are often the bean you see on mezze plates or in the antipasti in Italian restaurants. They have a pale cream colour and quite a mild flavour making them a good option for anyone who finds kidney beans to strong in flavour (like me). Cannellini beans can be bought canned or dry. Canned cannellini beans are ready to eat having already been soaked and cooked. However, dry cannellini beans must be soaked in water for eight hours and then cooked for about 90 minutes.
Cannellini beans work really well added to vegetable stews and casseroles as well as blended through soup to make it nice and thick. I love to make a homemade version of baked beans using the lovely cannellini bean and you can find the recipe here. They also work well in salads paired with olive oil and lemon juice.
Cannellini beans are high in fibre and protein, with 14 grams of protein in a cup of cannellini beans. They are very inexpensive making them a great source of protein for anyone who is on a tight budget.
Today, I had this dip with raw carrot, celery and cucumber dip. It can also be eaten as a dip for crackers or served with a salad, or even eaten straight out of the bowl. Whatever takes your fancy.
2 cups of cannellini beans*
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of a lemon
1/4 cup of parsley
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast (optional, it gives a lovely cheesy flavour)
Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix to form a smooth creamy dip. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.