Healthy, Hearty White Bean Chili

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No dish is more quintessential to the fall and winter kitchen than a warm bowl of chili.  As the days are cooling and the hoodies are coming out, now is the perfect time to bust out the crocks and cast iron skillets, and to kick that oven on to roast an abundance of Fall harvest foods.

This chili is incredibly nutritious and boasting with flavor from the roasted peppers, onions and garlic.  Though it may seem complex, it actually comes together very easily for a heaty, healthy, hearty chili that’s sure to not disappoint.

Ingredients

3 cups/2 cans Cannelini Beans, rinsed and drained

3 cups/2 cans Navy Beans, rinsed and drained

5-7 Jalapeno Peppers

1 Yellow Onion, halved then quartered lengthwise

5 Cloves Garlic (leave the skin on for now!)

1-2 cups Unsweetened Original Almond Milk or Milk of Choice

1 tsp Chili Powder

½ – 1 tsp Cumin

½ tsp Smoked Paprika

½ – 1 tsp Oregano

½ tsp Sea Salt, or to taste

Instructions

Roasting Your Peppers, Onions and Garlic (Note: you can totally opt for sauteeing these if you don’t have the time or will to roast them.  I just like the way the flavor develops by roasting but you can still have an amazing white bean chili by simply throwing your garlic, onions and seeded, chopped peppers straight in your pot.)

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a sheet pan with baking parchment.

Rinse and dry whole bell peppers.  Place on sheet.

Toss onion wedges in a touch of extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

Separate garlic cloves from the bulb but don’t peel the individual cloves.  Toss unpeeled garlic to coat with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

Place pan on center rack of oven and roast.

The garlic should be ready to come out at 20-25 minutes (careful not to overcook it!) at which point you can use a set of tongs to remove the garlic, flip your onions and rotate your peppers.

Peppers will likely take another 5-10 minutes to roast along with the onions.  The peppers should start to collapse and lightly char on the skin.  The onions should start to brown on the edges and soften.

Remove pan from oven and let cool about 5 minutes before working.  Chop the roasted onions.  Seed and chop the jalapenos (there is plenty of heat without the seeds but you can certainly set the seeds aside to add some in if you really like it HOT).

By this point, skins on your garlic and peppers should be easy to remove.  GLOVE UP!  Be sure you use care in handling the peppers to avoid burns and irritations from the peppers.  I like to slice down one side of the pepper, remove the core and seeds and flatten to finish the job.

img_6019Bringing Together Your Chili

Puree 1.5 cups navy beans in a high speed blender with one cup of almond milk and your roasted garlic, then follow your selected method below.

Crockpot Method:

Place remaining beans, all of your onions, puree, salt, spices and a little better than half of your chopped jalapenos in your crock pot.  If needed, add extra almond milk to achieve your desired consistency.  We like it thick but pourable.

If using a crock, do be mindful that the “low and slow” cooking can attribute to some evaporation/thickening so plan consistency accordingly.  You don’t want it too “soupy” but a little thinner than the intended finished product would be a good place to start.  This can vary based on the crock in question as some models seal better than others. 

Turn on low and cook 3-5 hours.

Stovetop Method:

Place remaining beans, all of your onions, puree, salt, spices and a little better than half of your chopped jalapenos in a large pot.  Bring to a simmer.  If needed, add extra almond milk to achieve your desired consistency.  We like it thick but pourable.

Carefully sample chili and make desired adjustments, adding more jalapeno for the full effect and tweaking your spices to your personal tastes.

For best results, allow chili to rest warm for a good 30 minutes to allow the flavor profile to more fully develop.

 

To Serve:

Pair alongside some fresh cornbread or a crisp bed of greens.  Top with fresh diced tomato or avocado to round off a truly top-notch white bean chili.