Whilst gardening on Saturday, I was musing about baked bean paté / hummus and what different flavours could be achieved.
I came up with over 30 without trying very hard at all! And as I was writing this post, I kept thinking of more! So this has turned into an absolutely mammoth one. As it grew, I wondered if I should split it into two or even three, but decided, in the end, that it would be a better resource, if it was all kept in one place.
Use a tin of the cheapest baked beans you can find as your base, or chick peas as per usual hummus, or any other beans or indeed lentils. All will make their own contribution. Baked bean paté is smoother than a chick pea hummus, and has a neutral flavour, like chick peas do, ripe for loading in aromatics, spices, herbs and umami.
The very cheapest way will always be to soak and cook your beans yourself, although you’ll need to get your beans in bulk, from an Asian shop for instance. The typical price of a 500g packet of supermarket dried beans is currently £1.50. As the cooked weight of beans is three times that of dried, and a tin of baked beans has about 180g drained weight, the equivalent in supermarket dried (61g) would cost 22p, the same as a tin of cheapest baked beans.
If you do decide to cook them yourself, I find a good way to have them handy is to cook an entire packet and freeze them in the equivalent of a tin sized pack.
Over 30 different flavour ideas
Drain and rinse your beans. Place in food processor, together with 100ml of whichever oil you are using, or 50ml water, or a combination, and add the following.
Before you start
If raw garlic is a bit strong for you, pop the clove in the microwave for 10 seconds. This has the effect of almost roasting the clove and rendering the flavour much milder. Or use garlic paste from a jar, or garlic powder.
If you want to keep the cost to the minimum, use vegetable oil. If you can afford it, olive oil gives a good flavour. Also, a little peanut butter can be substituted for tahini, they taste similar.
If you want to keep the calories to a minimum, hummus made with chick peas is absolutely fine made with water and no oil at all. So I would anticipate that this would be the same. Try just a little water at first and add a little more at a time. This would make it very low fat indeed. Use oil and this is Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF).
You can use any fat with this, so vegetable oil, olive oil or coconut oil, all of which would keep your pate vegan. Or you could use butter, or fat from a roasted chicken, or any other joint. All the different fats will contribute their own flavour
If you don’t have a food processor, because these beans are so soft, you could either use a hand blender, or even mash everything together with a fork for many of these ideas.
These bean pates or hummus (not sure what to call them really) are versatile pots of deliciousness. Eat them straight out of the pot, or with vegetable or fruit dippers that go with the flavour variation you have chosen. If you are at home, a warm toasted pitta, cut into strips and smeared with butter goes wonderfully. Or a fresh flatbread, still warm from the pan, or on hot toast, with or without butter on the toast
Pack them into lunchboxes with dippers and/or pitta/flatbread, or spread thickly into a sandwich. Use them to fill hungry youngsters home from school. Great in picnic hampers.
I often pack these in those little pots that salad dressing comes in from a takeaway, littlies love small things too. The small pots are good to store in the freezer, ready for a quick lunnch. Or you could use ice cube trays
1. Classic hummus flavour
The recipe that started this mammoth flavour compendium can be found here, and is reproduced below.
A tin of the cheapest baked beans you can get, 23p
100ml oil, £1.15/litre, 11p
A garlic clove, 5p
The zest of half a lemon, or 2 tablespoons lemon juice 49p/250ml, 6p
2 tablespoons tahini, 300g/£2.50, 25p
Salt and pepper
Total cost 70p. Makes a good sized pot, enough for 3 or 4 lunch boxes with carrot and pitta dippers
Total nutrition, 1002 calories, 20g carbs, 12g protein, 111g fat
Rinse the baked beans under the tap. Retain the sauce if you want to use it in soup or a casserole, where it is delicious.
Tip everything into a food processor and whizz for a few seconds. Taste and adjust if necessary. Store in the fridge in a clean jam jar etc. Use exactly the same as any hummus.
2. Lemon zest, mint and garlic
Whizz in lemon zest from half a lemon, a handful of chopped mint and a garlic clove
3. Sweet chilli sauce
Just add as much chilli sauce as you like to give the flavour you want. Start with a couple of teaspoons worth, and take it from there.
Stir through a couple of teaspoons, taste it as you go, adding more if you want to. Prepared horseradish sauce varies a lot in intensity
5. Grainy mustard, garlic
Add two teaspoons of your favourite mustard and a clove of garlic, crushed. Or use garlic from a jar from the Asian shop, it tastes milder than the fresh
6. The tomatoey one
Whizz some sun dried tomatoes in, or add a good squirt of purée, one or two whole fresh or tinned tomatoes, minus seeds (they’ll add too much water to your paté ). Or add the oil after you’ve added the tomatoes if you want to use the seeds as well. Use a combination of types of tomato too if you like.
7. Ginger, garlic and chilli
Finely grate or chop a knob of ginger and a chilli and add to the hummus together with a crushed garlic clove. Whizz in
8. Caramelised onion
I have tried this one. I just stirred through a heaped tablespoon of caramelised onion chutney and it was very good indeed.
9. Sesame oil, soy, honey, sesame seed
Use half sesame oil and half olive or vegetable oil, add a tablespoon each of soy sauce, honey and sesame seeds. Or leave out the sesame oil, it’s quite a strong flavour.
10. The pesto one
Whizz in a good handful of fresh basil, a crushed garlic clove, the zest and juicefrom half a lemon and 10g Parmesan, grana padano or any strong flavoured cheese
Total nutrition, 1063 calories, 36g carbs, 95g fat, 17g protein
serves 4, per serving, 264 calories, 9g carbs, 24g fat, 4g protein
11. Miso, honey
Stir through a tablespoon miso, any flavour, and another of honey, or omit the honey for more umami flavour
12. Roasted carrots, honey, mustard
Roast several carrots that have been coated with olive oil, honey and mustard, salt and pepper. Add some sprigs of fresh rosemary if you have any. Use the equivalent of one large carrot here. Whizz it through or fine chop it.
Use the rest of the carrots as a side vegetable.
13. Red pepper
Whizz in a roasted pepper, any colour. You could use one of those that comes already cooked, in a jar.
14. The breakfast one (1)
Cook some cheap cooking bacon, make sure the fat is crispy. Meanwhile, hard boil an egg. Whizz the beans. Tip the bacon, and all the lovely flavoured juice and fat into the beans. Finely chop the egg and stir through. Whizz the egg and bacon in if you’d rather.
15. The breakfast one (2)
Fry a sausage or some black pudding until crispy, chop small and either stir through or whizz in, as you prefer
16. The Greek Salad One
Chop a little oregano and either fresh de-seeded tomatoes or fine chopped sun dried ones. Stir through, together with some crumbled feta and possibly some tiny cubes of de-seeded cucumber.
Stir through some tiny lumps of cooked stuffing, either from the Sunday roast or a little popped in the oven when something else is cooking. Or make tiny balls of stuffing and crisp them in the oven and pack them separately to keep as crispy as possible. Serve with the bean paté and some crudités and flatbread or pitta.
18. Spinach and soft cheese
Use fine chopped fresh spinach or a lump of frozen. Omit the oil and add a good dollop of soft cheese.
19. Roasted bns, cumin
Use some butternut squash roasted in oil, coated in cumin, salt and pepper, add some garlic cloves to roast, perhaps some rosemary sprigs. Once cooked, either chop fine and add, or whizz in.
20. Pea and leek
Sauté a leek until very cooked. Add a handful of peas and cook through. Either stir through your beans or whiz in.
Lemon zest and/or mint shreds would be good.
Simply stir through as much pesto as you like and of whatever flavour you have. I would start with a generous tablespoon of pesto, taste and adjust.
22. Freeze dried veg powder
Stir through a couple of teaspoons of any freeze dried vegetable powder. I’m going to use beetroot first. I get mine online from Healthy Supplies. The powders are very versatile and I use them for all kinds of things.
Fine chop or whizz through one or two small cooked beetroot for a violently purple lunch. Fleck through some shredded sage or chopped chives or spring onions for a green contrast.
Horseradish is lovely with beetroot too.
Simply stir through a teaspoon or two of curry powder (not paste, unless you cook it first) . Or stir through individual curry powders, or fresh ground spices
eg a scant teaspoon each of turmeric, coriander, cumin and garam masala. If you can stand doing it, try dry roasting or oil cooking the spices first
Another possibility is two teaspoons each of garam masala and amchur, neither need cooking first
24. The pickled one
One of my favourite things is Patak’s Brinjal pickle, I stir it through many things and this would be one of them. Start with 2 teaspoons and see what you think, add more if you like
Or use Branston pickle or similar, or some of this wonderful home made picallili Or you could dollop a little pickle on the side of the dish.
25. The love it or loath it one
Yes, this is the Marmite one. Simply stir through as much salty loveliness as you like. I would start with a teaspoon, then taste and adjust
26. The Thai one
Add a teaspoon each of fish sauce, and palm sugar or dark brown sugar, a chopped spring onion, a bit of garlic and chilli, and a little tamarind or lemon juice to sharpen. Sprinkle with roasted peanuts – wonderful
27. The fishy one
There is already a post that created a fishy one. I used a single tin of sardines in tomato sauce and managed to make 6 meals for the princely total of 83p!
The readers one
Hilary tried kidney bean and HP sauce. I would imagine the sauce gave it a lovely piquant hit
And how about some sweet versions?
No reason you can’t have a sweet bean paté!
If having a sweet version, I would have it with flatbread or pitta (unless you want to keep it LCHF) and some fresh fruit. Apple slices, clementine segments, pear quarters, some berries in the summer.
Use a flavourless oil, butter or coconut oil for sweet ones. I wouldn’t use a strong flavoured olive oil, unless you want to of course!
29. Raisins and almonds
A simple handful of each. If slivered almonds, just stir through. If whole, chop them a bit first. Toast them first if you like for a little more flavour.
Just stir in a tablespoon of muscovado, and maybe a few fresh or frozen raspberries or black cherries
31. The Bounty one
Add a couple of tablespoons of dessicated coconut and some chopped plain value chocolate. Add a little sweetening if you think it needs it.
32. Walnut, soft cheese and honey
Add half a dozen walnut halves, chopped, a dollop of soft cheese and drizzle over some honey, golden syrup or sprinkle with sugar.
33. Almond, raspberry and sunflower seed
Add some toasted slivered or whole, chopped, almonds, fresh or frozen raspberries and sunflower seeds
34. Hazelnut and pumpkin seed
Toast and chop some hazelnuts and add with a few pumpkin seeds. Sweeten if you like