Cannellini Bean and Artichoke Spread – The benefits of cannellini beans

by Julie on July 28, 2010

Anything that allows me to have more fun to play in the summer is always welcome on my menu plan.  Making a nice big batch of this cannellini bean and artichoke spread for quick lunches, snacks and picnics is ideal.  It comes together in a jiffy as all ingredients are just combined in the food processor and viola!  Looks yummy doesn’t it?

What’s also really great about this recipe is that it develops it’s flavour even more so after resting for a day.  I’ve enjoyed it as a veggie dip, sandwich spread, on thin rye crackers with tomatoes and avocados as well as a snack served with rice chips.  Me, myself, I could even eat if for breakfast.  Any which way you serve it you and your guests will find it a nice alternative to the typical chick pea hummus.

Cannellini Bean & Artichoke Spread
Yield: approx 3 cups

1 garlic clove roughly chopped
1 shallot roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup olive oil
 + more for consistency if needed
1  14 oz tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed -organic if possible
1  14-ounce tin of artichoke hearts or artichoke bottoms, drained -organic if possible
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
10-12 tarragon leaves
Place all ingredients in food processor with S blade and pulse to combine. Turn off processor, scrape down sides of bowl and then blend again until combined.  Add additional oil if required to make a spreadable consistency that is not dry but lightly textured and creamy.  Season to taste with extra salt if desired.

You may like to experiment with alternate herbs like rosemary, basil and thyme or a combination.  What is your favourite herb?  I really like tarragon paired with artichokes but if you can’t find tarragon the beans and the artichokes lend themselves nicely to a variety of herbs as they are both mildly flavoured ingredients.  But don’t skip the garlic cuz that makes it really tasty!  But then again, you could experiment here with roasted garlic instead of fresh… hmmmm that sounds yummy- I’m getting hungry now!

My favourite way to enjoy this spread is for a picnic.  When you have left your creative kitchen and are out enjoying nature it is so rewarding to have delicious food along with you versus something you quickly grabbed at the grocery store.  And funny how it always seems to taste 10x’s better when you are on a picnic-have you noticed this before?

You might like to know that aside from tasting really yummy this dip is a much healthier choice than adding cheese, mayo and deli meat to your sandwich.

Cannellini beans are low-fat, high in fiber and provide a high quality of magnesium, fiber, iron and folate.  If you think you can’t skip the deli meat, well these beans have 2x’s as much iron as beef does.  Iron is necessary for healthy supply of blood hemoglobin which gives you energy by carrying the oxygen rich blood to every cell in your body, while preventing anaemia.  If you are looking for improved mental performance the thiamine in these beans will do the trick and can improve your reaction time.  The high fibre content is excellent for regulating bowel function, cutting cholesterol, removing toxins from the body and since this bean fibre binds to fat cells it flushes them from the body too-gotta luv that!  The combination of fibre, carbohydrates and protein that these beans provide are excellent for prolonged energy and help to keep your blood sugar levels stable.  So eat your beans and you’ll feel the benefits in many, many different ways.  Don’t worry about buying them in the can versus buying them dry and soaking them, just make sure you eat some.  When you really decide that you enjoy beans then you can move to the next level and soak your beans and cook them accordingly which is the ultimate way to eat your beans since they will sprout and become a more alive and energizing food for your body.

Enjoy the sunshine and maybe try to fit a nice lazy summer picnic in this week!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer July 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm

This looks amazingly delicious! Perfection. I seriously cannot wait to try this!!!

Meeta July 29, 2010 at 12:00 am

i have often made a hummus with cannellini beans and it’s always really popular – i love the addition of artichoke and using it as a spread! perfect!

admin July 29, 2010 at 8:26 am

Jennifer, thanx for stopping by! Be careful with this dip, you may become addicted! It used to be hummus for me but now it’s a variety of concoctions for dips like this one including others like baby sweet peas & mint, edamame bean dip, garlic scape dip- I’ve been on a rampage with dips! Enjoy and I’ll post others too!

admin July 29, 2010 at 8:28 am

Hi Meeta, glad you like the sound of the combination, let me know how you like it!

Leslie July 30, 2010 at 10:18 am

Jules -this looks really yummy!!! I will try this out asap, especially after seeing the photograph with the avocado and tomatoes!!!

Cecilia February 6, 2011 at 8:09 am

Could you please tell me what kind of bread you used on this wonderful looking sandwich?

Thank you !

Julie February 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm

H Cecilia
I try to only buy sprouted grain bread, and all the better if it is yeast free bread. I like spelt bread too if I can find it unleavened. But I do limit my bread intake to a few time a week and always with veggies. Raw crackers are lovely with this spread too as well as just dipping veggies in it! Enjoy and thanx for stopping in.

Katie April 16, 2012 at 10:04 am

Can’t wait to try this!!! When a recipe calls for “1 shallot” does that mean 1 clove or 1 bulb?
Thank you! (Love your site)

admin April 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Hi Katie, shallots are like a mini onion and are individual little bulbs, so one shallot is one shallot. It doesn’t divide like a garlic bulb. Hope this helps:) Sorry not to show it or clarify this.

Jess July 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I just made this and used dill instead of Tarragon and it was amazing!

Julie September 24, 2013 at 11:25 am

Can I have olive oil and corn?

admin September 24, 2013 at 11:35 am

julie, just cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, organic if poss. corn harbours mold and mycotoxins. if you are ill, avoid it, if you are well use extreme moderation and only have freshly picked organic corn

Aussie Dave March 22, 2016 at 4:11 am

I’m loving all your delicious recipes! Are they all in your book?

Julie March 22, 2016 at 9:36 am

Thank You! Some from the blog are but many are new and delicious. They are also divided into 3 categories of purely alkaline, alkaline balanced and mildly acidic for added convenience.
It’s sold in most book stores including Chapters and Indigo as well as Amazon on line.

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