With cafes and restaurants still not permitted to open due to lockdown, garden picnics have become the new way to socialise with friends! Colourful chopped veg and blended dips are a fantastic way to add colour, vitamins and protein to your al fresco lunch.
They're quick and simple to make and don't require much more than a handful of store cupboard ingredients. Plus beans, peas, chickpeas and other legumes offer an excellent source of dietary fibre. They're also full of protein, B vitamins and many other important nutrients and minerals.
There is also good evidence to suggest that they can help reduce blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and assist us in maintaining a healthy gut.
- 1 tin cooked chickpeas
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 50 ml tahini
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
- Sprinkle of cumin and black pepper to serve
Use a food processor to combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides then process for a further 30 seconds
Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process until well blended
Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Add the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then process until thick and smooth
Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have small chunks of chickpea. To smooth it out, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency
Your gut and the beneficial bacteria within it play an important role in many aspects of your health, so eating foods that contain gut-friendly fibre is extremely beneficial.
A number of studies have shown that diets containing chickpeas may also help improve bowel function which, according to doctor P Haines, is crucial to banishing psoriasis.
Pea and Mint Dip
- 200g frozen peas
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lime
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
Place the frozen peas in a sieve or colander and run under water until they are thawed
In a blender combine the garlic clove, peas, olive oil, lime and salt. Blend until smooth. Next add mint to the blender as well and pulse
Spoon into a bowl and serve decorated with fresh mint
Because fibre feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, pea fibre may also improve gut health. It may also help the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines, such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. These bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids, which help promote gut health.
Turmeric and Butter Bean Dip
- 1 tin butter beans
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Juice of half a lemon
- Pink peppercorns to serve
Add the drained butter beans to a food processor and blend together with the turmeric, cumin, olive oil, salt and lemon until smooth
Serve with ground pink peppercorns and a squeeze of lemon
Beans have been called the “magical fruit” and indeed they are. The nutrients in all varieties of beans help to neutralise damaging compounds that can harm your skin, simultaneously working to prevent skin damage and signs of ageing.
For my Carrot and Miso dip, plus many more, check out the recipe in Skin Healing Expert, my new book due out August 6th 2020. Pre Order your copy here.