I’ve been leading and participating in (on the grounds that I can then feel their pain - except that by day three I feel so fantastic I wonder why I don’t eat like this all year round) one of my 30 days to healthy living groups. One of the guiding principles is to balance the blood sugar as maintaining normal blood sugar levels is a very important part of avoiding long-term health issues, managing your weight and feeling good.
I get remarkable results with our 30 days programme from weight loss and increased energy, to better sleep, less aches and pains, better breathing, glowing skin, hair and nails and a general uplift in mood.
It has however curbed my sweet snacking so I’ve needed to turn to savoury bites when I’ve wanted a snack between yoga classes or to tide me over until supper. I am now thinking up alternatives to hummus and so created this gorgeous white bean dip.
225g dried white beans – soaked over night in filtered water
1 bay leaf
60ml bean cooking liquid
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
generous pinch of red pepper powder
Additional olive oil and fresh herbs for garnish
Rinse the dried beans and sort them, checking for stones or debris. Soak the
beans overnight in cold water. Soaking the beans overnight drastically reduces the cooking time. I’ll often cook extra beans, to maximize my energy-efficiency, and use them for soup too.
The next day, bring the beans to a gentle boil with a bay leaf, making sure there is plenty of water covering them. Cook until completely tender, 1 to 2 hours, depending on the beans.
(If you live in an area with hard water, add a pinch of baking soda to the water to help the beans cook and soften.)
Drain the beans, reserving some of the liquid. Pick out the bay leaf and let the beans cool until tepid.
You’re now ready to make the dip.
Put the beans along with 20ml of their cooking liquid in a blender or food processor, and blend with the garlic, dill, mint, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and red pepper powder.
You’ll need to stop the machine a few times and scrape down the sides, but do puree it long enough for it to be completely smooth, which will take several minutes. Add more of the bean liquid if you ned it up to the whole 60ml if necessary. You’re better to add the liquid to the beans slowly or you may end up with too runny a dip.
Taste, and adjust for seasoning, adding more salt or olive oil if desired. If it’s too thick, add a tablespoon or so of the reserved bean liquid or olive oil. Garnish with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of fresh chopped herbs.
Enjoy with some homemade oat cakes or crackers or spread on vegetable sticks.