Thursday, September 7, 2023

Blue bean dip

NFL games start this weekend, and the Colts' first game of the season is on Sunday! Many people will gather around their TVs to watch all the action unfold, and undoubtedly they’ll be snacking.

You all know I love to make themed foods, so I wanted to make a special “Colts blue” snack.

The problem: it is very hard to find naturally blue foods! Of course, I could use blue dye, but that is unappealing (no one wants a blue mouth).

But thanks to science, we can use red cabbage and baking soda to make blue bean dip!

Red cabbage (sometimes called purple cabbage) is a natural pH indicator because it contains anthocyanins—chemicals that change color in response to pH changes. Anthocyanins turn red when mixed with acids and blue when mixed with bases.

So if we add a little red cabbage and baking soda to our dip, it will naturally turn blue!

The key is you cannot use any acid in the recipe because then it won't work. A lot of bean dip recipes use lemon juice, but lemon is an acid, so it will mess with the color if we add it to this recipe.

Blue bean dip

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups of bean dip

Time: About 10 minutes


  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Optional: Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and  parsley
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup (50 to 100 grams) red cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Add beans to bowl of food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth, creamy, and lighter, about 1 minute. Add up to 2 tablespoons water if necessary to keep blades moving.
  2. Add garlic, olive oil, tahini, salt, cumin, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, and herbs. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add 1/2 cup red cabbage and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and blend until smooth. Be sure to blend for a full minute to allow for the color to develop. Add more red cabbage and baking soda (a little at a time) if necessary to adjust color. 
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with pita chips, pretzels, tortilla chips, etc.


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