Some of my favorite recipes and dressings call for a packet of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix. I love the stuff and could drink the Tomatillo Dressing that I make with it! Please tell me that you've tried that recipe?! It's absolutely amazing.
For this recipe, I decided to take a healthier route and see if I could make a vegan ranch dip using dried white beans as the base. I first soaked and then cooked them for several hours in the slow cooker along with a couple of garlic cloves. Of course, you can always use canned beans, but I like using dried because it makes me feel domesticated and there’s less sodium. After they were cooked until very tender, I pureed them in a blender along with the packet of Hidden Valley® Dips Mix and some olive oil. I felt it needed a little boost, so I added some dried dill, but you can always leave this out if you prefer. The consistency can get pretty thick, so make sure to save some of the liquid that the beans were cooked in and add it as needed later to loosen the dip up a bit.
The best part is I cut up fresh veggies — red peppers, carrots and celery — and had the dip on the table when my kids got home from school. They are always starving, so instead of serving processed crackers or something of the like, I served this bean dip and veggies. They loved it! I love the feeling when I fill up their tummies with healthy and delicious foods. The beans have a lot of protein and keep them full for longer than snack foods do. And I don't care about how much dip they have because it's beans, for Pete's sake. The Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix packet is totally convenient and seasons the dip perfectly! I love having a few of these packets in my pantry when I need to whip up a yummy dip or dressing.
Slow Cooker White Bean Ranch Dip
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 24 hours
Product: Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix
1 cup dried white beans
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 packet Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried dill or 3 tablespoons fresh dill, or to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place dried white beans in a bowl, and then fill with water to cover the beans by at least 2 inches. Soak overnight.
Drain off all the water and add them to a slow cooker, preferably one that is 3 quarts in size. Fill the slow cooker with enough water to cover the beans by at least an inch. Add in the garlic cloves. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours or on high for 4 hours, or until beans are very soft. Remove the beans from the liquid, and set liquid aside for later use.
Place the beans into a blender. Add in the Hidden Valley® Ranch packet, olive oil and dill to taste. Blend until creamy. If desired, add in reserved liquid, about ¼ cup at a time, and blend until dip is desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve with crackers, vegetables or chips.
For more delicious one-pot recipes from Karen, visit 365 Days of Slow Cooking.