Beans truly are a magical fruit, for many more reasons than the childhood rhyme conveys. Not only are they rich in plant protein, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc, they also are low in fat. Meaning unlike meat, you get the nutrients and protein you need without all the calories. Plus, there are SO many different beans to choose from, and even more ways to prepare them!
From snacks and dips to meals and DESSERT(?!), for National Eat Beans Day, here are five easy, tried and true recipes—made from five different kinds of beans—that are sure to wow your, and your guests’, tastebuds.
Pinto beans: Creamy, spicy bean dip
Imitating the canned Fritos Bean Dip at a fraction of the price (and salt), this recipe allows you the flexibility to get as spicy (or not) as you’d like with the addition of more (or fewer) jalapeños. Whether these are smothered in a burrito or served with tortilla chips as an appetizer , this is the perfect bean dip for any occasion. For a vegan dip, make sure to get vegetarian refried beans (made without lard).
PRO TIP: Make a large batch and throw the extra in the freezer! So long as the container it’s in is properly sealed, it will keep for months. So, the next time you’re in a pinch for what to bring to your friend’s game night, defrost the dip in the microwave and you’re ready to go!
Black-eyed peas: Texas Caviar
Going to a potluck? This bean salad has got you covered. Whether it’s served as a side or as an appetizer, it is light, healthy and perfect for summer!
PRO TIP: Add some diced raw jalapeños if you want to kick the spice level up a notch!
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas): Classic go-to hummus
Serve this hummus with some sliced cucumber, baby carrots and pita chips and you’ve got yourself a delicious, healthy spread everyone is sure to devour.
PRO TIP: Once you’ve got the general base of the hummus, you can blend in a variety of ingredients to get a completely different (yet still delicious) flavor, including roasted red peppers, cilantro, artichokes, basil or roasted garlic—the possibilities are endless!
Black beans: Savory enchiladas
There really aren’t many meals more satisfying than enchiladas. These are super easy and delicious, and as a bonus, make great leftovers!
PRO TIP: For plant-based enchiladas, substitute Daiya’s Mexican 4 Cheeze Style Blend and top with vegan sour cream.
White Beans: Healthy Cookie Dough
If you’re going to binge-eat a bowl of cookie dough, this recipe allows you to satisfy your sweet tooth while avoiding the risk of salmonella. This delicious, semi-healthy bean-based dessert is sure to keep you (and the kiddos, if you decide to share) happy.
PRO TIP: Opt for white beans instead of chickpeas to get the creamiest consistency. If chickpeas are your only option, deshell your canned beans by adding them to a pot of boiling water along with a teaspoon of baking soda. After cooking on the stove for 20 minutes, the outer skin should easily come off and the beans themselves will be super soft. Now you’re ready to make some (extra creamy) cookie dough!