Mmmmm….this is one of my favorite autumn chili recipes!
By using a slow cooker, the flavors in the Apple, Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili intensify and deepen substantially without adding lots of meat. By the way, you can make the recipe with our without the ground pastured beef—it tastes great either way. Whether you use the meat or not, the end result is a rich, savory and satisfying chili bursting with phytonutrients and antioxidants from the unique blend of highly nutrient-dense seasonal fall ingredients.
As you read the ingredients list though I figured you might have a few questions, so I have tried to jump one step ahead and answer a few of them for you below…
Black Bean Chili in a Slow Cooker Q & A:
- Can I substitute something else for the pumpkin? Sure! Thawed frozen butternut squash would work perfectly.
- Why do you add the dates? Because they add just a hint of subtle sweetness that, in my opinion, enhances the recipe substantially.
- Won’t the miso give the chili an undesirable Asian flavor? Nope! Not if you use the “Mellow While Miso”. Of course you can always use organic vegetable broth instead, but the miso is a great source of dairy-free probiotics. Look for Miso Master brand miso paste in the refrigerated section of your natural foods store.
- Can I substitute extra virgin olive oil for the coconut oil? Yes, it really won’t affect the flavor much at all. Note: it is very important to buy a superior quality extra virgin coconut oil, such as Barlean’s, otherwise your recipes will have an undesirable coconut-y flavor.
- Do I have to add the corn flour? No, not really. But, the corn flour does help thicken the chili a bit and give the dish a little richer overall texture. But you can leave it out if you insist.
- What is a healthy alternative to sour cream as a chili topping? Try our “Clean Cuisine” Sour Cream recipe! It is rich, creamy and 100% dairy free. Click HERE for the recipe.
Ok, on with how to make a super delicious vegan black bean chili in a slow cooker…
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 4 pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons Miso Master brand “Mellow White Miso” dissolved in 3 cups hot water OR 3 cups organic vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin coconut oil (such as Barlean’s)
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- Unrefined sea salt, to taste
- ½ pound pastured ground beef (optional)
- 2 apples, chopped (keep the skins on)
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 tablespoons medium-grind corn flour
- 2 large cans (29 ounces each) BPA-free black beans (such as Eden Organic), rinsed and drained
- In a high speed blender, add the pumpkin, dates, ¼ cup of the miso mixture (or vegetable broth), coriander, cumin and lime juice; process until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture into a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Add the remaining 2 ¾ cup of miso mixture (or vegetable broth) to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker onto low heat and cover with a lid.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Add the pastured organic beef (if using) and saute until no longer pink. Add the apples, celery and chopped red bell pepper and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste and stir in the corn flour.
- Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Add the black beans. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 1 hour 30 minutes. Let chili sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. Add more salt if necessary. Serve warm.