Healthy Hack: Batching (+ recipe for Vegan Black Bean Dip)

We like to eat a lot. I know it’s a cliche that girls are “always hungry,” but we are ALWAYS hungry! For active, busy people, it’s easy to make bad food choices when you feel that hunger in the depths of your soul and you can’t see straight so you reach for the nearest potato chip or processed “protein bar.”  Been there, not judging! Want to know our secret for avoiding that temptation?

KaleWhaleHealthyHack

Batching. Prepare certain foods in batches each week that can keep well in the fridge for several days. That’s how we whip up this black bean dip so easily, which, by the way, can also be made in a batch and kept for several days. Win, win, win.

What do you keep in your pantry? We ALWAYS have beans and quinoa, among other things. These are two foods you can get a lot of mileage from - they’re so versatile and can keep for a long time!

Beans are imperative for anyone who is on a vegetarian or vegan diet, or if you’re just trying to reduce your meat consumption.

Quinoa is a good base for many meals, whether you’re feeling Asian stir fry, Mexican burrito bowls, or even sprinkled cold on a salad for a little extra volume. We make a pot of each of these when we’re planning meals for the week, and having them on hand, already cooked, gives you a healthy option when you’re in a pinch and STARVING and just want to cook a frozen pizza. Try to resist!

On to the bean dip!

VeganBlackBeanDip

Use dry black beans. It’s a little more work but also more nutritious. Plus, you never really know what you’re getting with canned beans. Can’t trust anyone these days! Soak the dry beans in water overnight to soften them a bit. Just plop them in a container with a lid, add water until they’re just covered, snap the lid on and let them sit overnight.

When they’re slightly softened, slow cook the beans with enough water & veggie stock to cover the beans, lots of garlic, onion and seasonings of your choice (cumin, black pepper, salt, cayenne). This part will take about an hour or so after soaking. If you notice the liquid getting too low, add more. When the beans are soft and delicious, blend them with a small amount of quinoa (this will give it a cheesier consistency) and serve with a side of salsa, chopped cilantro and lime.

TIME HACK: Throw the soaked beans, liquid and seasonings into a crockpot first thing in the morning and cook on low. The liquid should just cover the beans, then set it and forget it!

How to use the bean dip: spread on wraps, take to work as a midday snack instead of the vending machine or Girl Scout cookies, enjoy it as an easy snack at home, bring it to gatherings or barbecues where the rest of the food may not be so healthy.

This dip is full of fiber and protein to help satisfy you and energize you!