Kale is the current ‘It’ food. We have Kale Chips, Kale Smoothies, Sauteed Kale and Kale salads. I guarantee if you show up at a party bearing anything with Kale, you will be heralded as a hip Foodanista. I don’t want to knock kale, because it really is a nutritional powerhouse definitely worthy of being the star of the latest food fad. It’s not called ‘The Queen of Greens’ for nothing! “One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. (www.webmd.com)
Combine kale with white beans which are high in minerals, fiber and protein and you’ve got a snack worthy of superman. White Bean and Kale Dip combines some of my favorite flavors, white beans (cannellini), kale, cayenne, cumin, lemon, tahini and pine nuts and has none of the fattening creams or cheeses (which I love but am trying to cut back on). The creaminess in this dip comes from the white beans, pine nuts and a bit of olive oil, all healthy and nutritious. More importantly, it is delicious! If you are looking for a yummy but healthy appetizer, then this is for you. I served it with pita crackers but its also great with carrots and other raw veggies. You can also spread it on toasted bread and add a sprig of arugula and tomato. Yum!
There are a surprising number of recipes out there for White Bean and Kale Dip (or perhaps not so surprising given kale’s goddess status). Variations include walnuts or cashews instead of pine nuts and spinach instead of kale. I would recommend Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale, which is sweeter and less tough(chewy) than the curly type, for this recipe since we are using it raw. If you include nuts, I would recommend running them through the food processor or blender to make a fine powder before adding the other ingredients. You could probably also use an almond or cashew butter if you have it instead. Otherwise, this dip only takes a few minutes to put together but it needs at least an hour to chill in the refrigerator to firm up. I actually thought it tasted better the next day. So time to jump on the Kale Bandwagon if you haven’t done so already!
White Bean and Kale Dip