Black Bean Dip

Yield 1 ¼ cup
*gluten free and vegan


  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed + drained
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper


In a large food processor, pulse the garlic clove until finely chopped.  Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add in all other ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.  If a thinner consistency is desired, add more water. Chill until ready to serve.  Garnish with a spritz of lime.

Serve with carrot and celery sticks

Why Black Beans?

High in protein

Protein builds and maintains bones, muscles and skin. It also causes one to feel full, leading to better weight management.

High in fiber

Fiber, like protein, increases satiety and reduces appetite, making one feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering your overall calorie intake. It also promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

High in iron

Iron plays a crucial role in maintaining bone and joint strength and elasticity. It also helps red blood cells and move oxygen throughout the body.

Low in fat

A low-fat diet can help one ward off serious medical conditions, including heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

A great meat substitute


Inexpensive and easy to cook

Cultural Context

Black beans, also known as turtle beans in English, caviar criollo, zaragoza, judía negra, poroto negro, caraota o habichuela negra in Spanish, and feijão preto in Portuguese, are native to the Americas.  They date back at least 7,000 years, when they were a staple in the diets of Central and South Americans.

The black bean has a meaty texture, which makes it popular in vegetarian dishes, such as frijoles negros and the Mexican-American black bean burrito. It is the primary ingredient in very popular rice and bean dishes in Latin America such as feijoda (Brasil), gallo pinto (Costa Rica and Nicaragua) and pabellon criollo (Venezuela).  Black bean soup is a traditional dish in Cuba, where it is usually served with white rice.

Over the years, black beans have been introduced around the world. Today, while they remain a staple in Latin American cuisine, they can also be found in the cuisine of the Punjab region of Pakistan and Northern India and the Cajun and Creole cuisines of southern Louisiana in the United States.

As Americans become more aware of the need for good nutrition, black beans – with their high fiber, protein, folate and antioxidant content – have become a popular alternative to traditional dips that are high in fat and calories.

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