Combine all ingredients except salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. (Begin with warm beans for the smoothest texture.) Taste and then season with salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Serving suggestions: Spread on grilled zucchini slices or stuff into miniature sweet peppers, then top with sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. Or, serve in a whole-grain pita with fresh vegetables, such as grated carrots, thinly sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, and a tablespoon of olive tapenade. Or, layer in a whole-grain wrap with grilled vegetables and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Nutrition information (for 1/4 cup): 80 calories, 1 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 13 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 5 g protein, 101 mg sodium (if made with 1/4 tsp. salt), 53 mg calcium, 2 mg iron, 272 mg potassium.
The Nutrition Professor's Shop Smart, Prep Smart Tips:
- Wrap an entire head of garlic in foil and roast in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until soft and golden.
- Always taste before seasoning with salt, as it is easier to add more than to try to "fix" a spread that is too salty. Also consider what you are putting on top of the spread, as olives will bring saltiness to the finished dish.