I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a flavorful sauce or spread is the key to making healthy, satisfying and unforgettable dishes. This super easy pinto bean purée is the perfect addition to tacos, quesadillas, nachos, enchiladas, salads, rice bowls and just about any other dishes inspired by Mexican cuisine. It’s also equally as delicious when served as a Mexican bean dip (like a hummus) or as a simple side dish.
I made this purée last weekend as a side dish to the tacos I made for a delicious date night at home with Matt, but the original inspiration came from a catering job I was working recently. For the event, we made a spicy black bean puree to be used on bite-size tostadas using a single tortilla chip as the base. So cute, right? I fell in love with the uber easy and insanely delish bean purée, so I wasted no time before developing my own recipe at home. I used pinto beans for this version, but this exact recipe works equally well with black beans instead of pinto.
Flavored simply with garlic, lime juice and cayenne, I describe this bean purée as zesty because it has some zing and kick. For this subtle hit of spice, I used a small amount of cayenne, but feel free to increase the cayenne to 1/4 teaspoon for a big punch of heat. To make the purée, simply blend all ingredients together using a hand blender or a food processor. So easy! This zesty bean puree is also extremely health supportive for a couple reasons…
Beans are a great source of clean protein. In fact, beans are one of my primary sources of protein, and they help me to easily reach my daily recommended intake of protein without consuming too many animal products. Black beans are also a good source of fiber, copper, manganese and phosphorus. But my primary focus here is the high concentration of folate, a complex b vitamin. Because folate is so important to human health, it’s a common nutrient in many fortified foods. But don’t be fooled. When you consume foods fortified with folate, you are getting folic acid, which is only a fraction of the beneficial components that make up folate in natural and whole forms (like in beans). It’s therefore very important to consume folate through clean eating, and not through manually fortified foods and supplements. But why is folate important for our health? Folate is important for the nervous system as it helps to produce molecules that carry nerve signals through the body. Additionally, heart health is also tied to folate levels. Folate is shown to reduce blood levels of Homocysteine (Hcy), an amino acid that, when in a high concentration, can indicate a high risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cayenne Pepper is a health superhero, and I highly recommend incorporating natural cayenne pepper into your daily routine. While cayenne has countless benefits (like headache prevention and anti-bacterial properties), one of the most popular is cayenne’s role in digestion and weight loss. Cayenne pepper stimulates the digestive muscle movement in the stomach (aka peristalsis) and the production of digestive enzymes. This stimulation helps the body to efficiently metabolize food and increases the elimination of gases and toxins.
5-Minute Zesty Bean Purée
Servings: 4 Start to Finish: 5 minutes
1 14-ounce can pinto or black beans (drained and rinsed, organic preferred)
1 small clove garlic (peeled, roughly chopped)
1 tablespoon water (plus more to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (approx. 1 juicy lime)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, fine grain
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (plus more to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or hand blender cup. Puree until smooth. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Use as a dip, spread or side dish.