Cinnamon Spiced Sweet Kidney Bean Spread
April 3, 2012

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Greetings all! So glad you liked my review of the stupendous Vedge restaurant. Get there! You’ll be so glad you did.

Today, we switch gears from the the miracles of fine dining to the humble and pleasant surprises that take place in my little kitchen. A few days ago, I had the idea of doing a cinnamon spiced kidney bean dip. It sounded a little odd, but cinnamon can work magic in savory recipes, and so why not? After all, if certain blogger soul mates of mine can make chickpea peanut butter dips, I can surely do innovative things with kidney beans. As I was preparing the recipe, it occurred to me that, as nice as the savory and spiced recipe would be, it might be more fun still to do a sweet dip: a cinnamon-infused, date sweetened dip (or pudding) that was made exclusively of heart-healthy legumes.

I added some soaked dates to nearly two cups kidney beans, a tablespoon of almond butter, cinnamon, and sea salt. The result was a sweet, salty, and altogether delicious dip/spread that took not time at all, and is incredibly versatile!

Here are just a few things you might do with this dip:

  • Spread it on fruit slices, for a high protein and sweet snack
  • Spread it on toast, as an innovative (and more nutrient dense) alternative to plain nut butter
  • Eat with a spoon, as a “pudding”
  • Swirl into morning oats
  • Use in place of the “PB” in a PB and J

The possibilities abound! As we’ve recently discussed, I am a huge, huge fan of legumes and the amazing nutrients they confer, so I’m always pretty excited to sneak them into unexpected places. I’ve never done much with beans in a sweet recipe, however, and I suspect that this recipe is the start of something new and delicious.

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Cinnamon Spiced Sweet Kidney Bean Spread (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 4

1 3/4 cup kidney beans, cooked at home or canned
4 pitted dates (more if you want it sweeter), soaked 4+ hours and drained of water
1 tbsp almond butter (peanut, cashew, or sunflower seed butter will also work!)
1/8 tsp sea salt (a pinch, in other words)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup water

Place all ingredients except for water in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse to combine, and then run the motor. Drizzle in water until the dip is super smooth; you may need  a few tablespoons extra water as you go along.

This dip is absolutely delicious. It’s sweet, salty, and filling. A wonderful departure from the usual hummus, with many possibilities for use in sweet and savory dishes!

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I especially like this dish with red pepper slices, but I also enjoyed it with avocado, with apple slices, and with sweet potato (I’m sure you can imagine how naturally its cinnamon sweet flavor pairs with the latter). Try it, and delight in it, soon!

I’m trying to get my life in order before heading home to NYC for a long weekend. I’ll have a Green Recovery post for you tomorrow, and food on Thursday. For now, friends, adieu!

xo

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    38 Comments
  1. Wow… I think I’ve just found a way to replace my Greek Yogurt Cravings. I omitted the dates and added a bit of Vanilla extract (and lots of cinnamon)… this stuff is addictive. I think I’m going to make a bigger batch soon instead of trying to limit my consumption of it! 🙂

  2. YUM! Made this today with adzuki beans and ate it with jicama and roasted sweet potatoes. Absolutely delish! thanks!

  3. This looks absolutely delicious! And thanks for linking to the PB chocolate chip dessert hummus- I’d never seen it and want to try that, too (with nut-alternative butter)!

  4. Made it with adzuki beans! Super delicious. I found 4 dates to be too sweet for me, so I will adjust accordingly next time. (as an fyi for folks, It was hard not to eat it all.)

  5. First let me tell you how much I LIKE your blog; it is innovative, cheerful and respectful for people who are not vegan or total raw eaters. People often have a complicated relationship with food, but you promote balance and good sense. Keep up the delicious work !

    You should give a try to adzuki beans, it makes awesome an sweet paste. I am addited to this since I tried chinese pastries; now I cook ealthier versions.

  6. Yum! This sounds great. I love baking with beans, so whenever I find a new recipe with a bean I haven’t used in a sweet recipe, it’s thrilling! I’m usually too nervous to experiment with unusual beans, though I should branch out. I frequently use great northern beans, garbanzo, and black beans to bake cakes/blondies/brownies. Works like a charm. But none of those have an overpowering taste. I’m curious about kidney beans and lima beans. I’d be bummed if I made a batch of lima bean brownies and they tasted beanie! But if kidney beans work as a base for this delicious sounding dip, I’d be willing to bet limas could work. You’re a brilliant vegan cook, I love following your blog!

  7. This sounds delicious! It always amazing me how reluctant people are to try bean dips when they are not savory. But there really are some pretty amazing sweet spreads!

  8. Love it! I swapped out for adzukis and maple syrup (skipped the water) and WOW! It’s fantastic! I have several apples that will meet their fate dipped in this nifty little dip/spread!

  9. This flavor combo is sure unexpected – maybe a bit unique for my taste – but I think I’ll give it a shot w/ Adzuki beans, esp. since my beloved cinnamon is involved!

    Safe travels, Gena!

  10. I love beans as the base for sweet dips, and this sounds just great–reminds me of a heartier version of Japanese adzuki paste. Kidney beans make me deathly sick, so I would probably go with adzuki beans were I to make this, because I think you’re right on with the reddish color and the cinnamon. Maybe pinto beans too.

  11. way to be innovative! pretty soon you’ll be baking desserts with beans like other vegan bloggers we know.

    this is one of those dishes where I’d certainly try it if i was there, but I’m scared to make on my own for fear i won’t like it. maybe a reduced size trial version is in order at first.

  12. way to be innovative! pretty soon you’ll be baking desserts with beans like other vegan bloggers we know.

    this is one of those dishes where I’d certainly try it if i was there, but I’m scared to make on my own for fear i won’t like it. maybe a reduced size trial version is in order at first.

  13. I’ve been making versions of this sweet hummus a lot in the past few months. Most of them have included chickpeas or black beans and raw chocolate. I’ve tried adding oats and raisins to the cinnamon version to make a play on oatmeal cookie dough also. I like these sweet hummus dips because they’re very versatile. Alas, I usually end up eating them straight with a spoon as many other comments have admitted.

  14. whoa! i’ve dipped my toes into the land of sweet hummus but i have always had a bit of a mental block with kidney beans – to me they’re just for chilli – but this might just have opened my eyes!

  15. I love the flavors in this bean dip! I’m all out of kidney beans at the moment, but I have some leftover chickpeas from hummus I made the other day. Perhaps I’ll make do with those instead. 🙂

  16. I would definitely eat this straight with a spoon 🙂 Is there meant to be almond butter in the ingredients? I think you mentioned it in the text, but maybe it’s optional? Cinnamon owns my heart regardless.

    • Me too! I am not a fan of kidney beans as I find them very hard to digest, so may well try this with Adzuki beans instead. Yum.

  17. This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to see what other recipes this one inspires- I’d love to see more recipes that are in the same vein!! Quick question- I didn’t see almond butter listed in the ingredient list, but it was mentioned in the post, how much did you use?

  18. This is unexpected! But good choice of bean, though – I find kidney beans really neutral in flavor (maybe even more so than chickpeas, which sometimes have that “sandy” taste) so this looks like it would be yummy!