Looking for something to jazz up those raw veggies? This healthy vegan, whole food plant-based black bean dip recipe is oil-free and full of flavor and plant-based protein.

Beans provide protein with fiber that will keep you fuller longer than meat. Just 1 cup of black provides 30% of your daily protein needs, half of your daily recommended fiber, and 64% of the recommended folate. Black beans are a nutrient-dense food worthy of incorporating into your weekly meal plan.

While most of the calories in black beans are carbohydrates, most of that is in the form of resistant starch. That means most of the starch passes through your upper digestive tract without being broken down into simple sugars. It’s not the type of carb what will spike your blood sugar. The carbohydrates in black beans are good carbs your body needs. In fact, eating beans can have a positive influence on your glycemic response at meals eaten later in the day.

The rich, black color is evidence of anthocyanins – the same flavonoid responsible for the deep red and purple colors in red cabbage and blueberries. Anthocyanins are important antioxidants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia, vision loss and obesity.

The phytonutrients in black beans also improve fat metabolism. They block gene expression that would result in the production of enzymes designed to increase your blood fat levels. They also appear to promote expression of genes that trigger the transport of circulating cholesterol back into your liver.

Beans are my go-to for dips. A black bean dip like this one is fast and easy to make. It’s an excellent no-cook meal when the weather turns hot and you’d rather not be in the kitchen. Paired with cut up veggies like bell peppers, carrots, celery, and cucumbers, it makes an ideal portable lunch or satisfying snack. And if you take it to a party, expect it to disappear!

Tropical Black Bean Dip

Makes 5 Cups

Ingredients

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or 3 cups cooked)
1 cup chopped green onions
4 Tbsp. salsa
¼ cup diced red onion
2 Tbsp. coconut vinegar (or lime juice)
½-1 tsp. sea salt, to taste
1 cup diced mango
½ cup diced roasted red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Directions

Reserve ½ cup black beans. Into a food processor, add the remaining black beans, green onions, salsa, red onion, vinegar (or lime juice) and salt. Process until nearly smooth.

Transfer the processed beans into a large bowl and stir in the remaining whole black beans and most the mango and red bell pepper. (Reserve a small amount of mango and red bell pepper each for garnish if desired.) Sprinkle on the cilantro and serve as a dip with cut up veggies, baked tortilla chips or baked whole wheat pita chips. Or try spreading it onto a whole wheat tortilla, and rolling it up with leafy greens like spinach and arugula, and crisp thinly sliced bell peppers.

Inspired By: Island Black Bean Dip, Eat to Live Cookbook

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