It’s Spring! Aren’t you glad? I’m so tired of winter and am so happy to see it go. Here in the Atlanta area, we’ve already enjoyed some days around 70 degrees with lots of sunshine. Here in the south, it’s tradition to save your white pants for summertime – you wear them after Memorial Day and up to Labor Day. I have always believed that you can wear them after Easter – or as soon as we hit our first 75 degree day. Okay, so I make up my own rules!
Thinking about this makes me think about white vegetables and foods. [How’s that for a transition?] As a dietitian, I often encourage people to choose colorful foods for their diet – the more colorful the better! And a variety of colors to include red, blue, purple, green, yellow, and orange to ensure that you’re getting the benefit of all of the vitamins and phytonutrients available in the rainbow of foods available. But I sometimes forget to remind people about the nutritious virtues of some white foods! Just because they’re white doesn’t mean they are void of nutrition.
In fact, there are two in particular that I want to talk about today – white beans and cauliflower. Totally different foods from different food categories, but which provide some similar benefits. White beans are a great source of fiber and plant-based protein. In fact, each 1/2 cup of white beans provides 6g of fiber and 9.5g protein. Half a cup of white beans also provides almost 600mg of potassium (plus a good bit of sodium if canned, so rinse those beans!) which is essential for helping fight high blood pressure. Our other white food of the day, cauliflower, is such a tasty and versatile vegetable. Half a cup has less than 20 calories, yet provides a more than 40% of your DV of vitamin C, along with a bit of fiber and protein.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing bad I can say about either white beans or cauliflower – except maybe that you should be sure to increase your consumption of both slowly…because they both tend to be gas-producing foods. #keepingitreal
Here’s a great way to get you started – this dip is awesome! Packed with protein and fiber, antioxidants, and some good fat from the avocado, you will love it. It is a bit heavy on the garlic, so adjust to your taste. Try it with some homemade pita chips and veggies and let me know what you think.
White Bean Dip
- 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1/2 cup raw or frozen cauliflower florets
- 1/2 small or 1/4 large avocado, peeled and seeded
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
Put everything in a blender and whirl it until smooth. Scrape down and let ‘er rip again until completely pureed. Serve with pita chips and fresh veggies.