Dips ‘n Sticks’ Workshops & our Spicy Bean Dip Recipe

Throughout the winter our educational team have been busy heading out to primary schools and community groups across the county with our brand new ‘Dips ‘n Sticks’ cookery workshops. This was part of a pilot project funded by the Big Lottery Fund aiming to get children preparing and eating more fresh, seasonal and local fruit and vegetables. And what a success it’s been, lots of happy, healthy children and teachers; we’re very much looking forward to continuing with our project throughout 2017.

During the in-school sessions we take along our mobile cookery equipment and set up temporary kitchens in classrooms or halls. Working in small groups children have fun identifying locally grown fruits and vegetables (as supplied by Growing Local of course!), learn about seasonality and what grows in Herefordshire and prepare and sample a variety of seasonal vegetables, fruits and dips. Under our very careful supervision children get to practice safe knife skills chopping and slicing their way through a variety of raw fruits and vegetables. They also make several healthy dips, including this Spicy Bean Dip, and older children are challenged to design and make their own dips from a masterchef style array of ingredients. At the end of our sessions the children and ourselves munch the way through all our healthy ‘dip sticks’ and dips and vote on our favourites, encouraging children to try as much fantastically healthy raw stuff as our powers of persuasion allow!. I’m very happy to report that we had virtually a 100% success rate in getting children to try at least one new vegetable they hadn’t tried before.

Do try this dip for yourselves, it’s a really quick, healthy and tasty cinch of a dip. Add plenty of chilli if you like a kick and serve with as much raw stuff as you can. A great recipe for children to make.

Happy dip n’ stick making!



  • 200g tinned ‘Mixed Beans’ or ‘Mixed Bean Salad’
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 small handful fresh Coriander
  • 1 pinch Salt & Pepper, 
  • 1 pinch Dried Chilli Flakes OR 1/2 finely diced raw chilli


  1. Open the tin of beans and drain in a colander, rinse under running water.
  2. Juice the lime and tear up the coriander.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. With an adult supervising whiz the dip together with a hand held stick blender until fairly smooth, but with a few lumps and bumps for texture. OR place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse. OR mash together in the bowl with a fork or potato masher. OR use a hand pulled mini chopper.
  4. Taste the dip and season with more salt, pepper, lime or chilli flakes until you are happy with the flavour.