I love to browse social media for pictures of what my friends are cookin’ up in the kitchen. While all of my formulas and recipes are originals, I often get inspiration from the culinary creations of others. When it came time to develop a hummus formula, I had one particular image in mind.
A friend of mine from high school posted a picture of a scrumptious vegetarian spread on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. Every dish was mouth-watering, but what really stood out to me was a big bowl of pink hummus, which I read contained beets. This got me thinking about how many different ways hummus can be made unique and delicious.
Hummus is a chickpea-based dip and spread popular in Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is often served as a dip with pita bread, chips, or raw vegetables, or spread in wraps or sandwiches. Hummus is typically made by pureeing cooked chickpeas, lemon juice, and tahini (sesame seed butter). It is an easy dish to make, eat, and bring with if you need quick appetizer for a party or family dinner.
The formula (under Snacks) I’ve developed works with any cooked beans or lentils. You can keep it traditional and simple, or add extras like fresh herbs or vegetables, as was the case with my friend’s beet hummus. I’ve found that a bean/lentil base is what gives hummus its creamy, dip-able texture; any other ingredients you select will blend right in.
As noted in my post about what I consume in a typical day, I try to eat most of my vegetables raw, but I really believe that hummus made with their addition calls for the cooked variety. They puree more smoothly and have a richer flavor, which is essential for competing with beans/lentils, which can be pretty blandly overpowering. Consider some of these alternatives to traditional hummus:
- Lentil hummus with curry
- Black bean hummus with lime and cilantro
- Pinto bean hummus with roasted red peppers
- Edamame hummus with miso
- Chickpea hummus with roasted tomatoes
The list goes on…
Today, I’m taking a stab at the beet hummus that caught my eye a few weeks back. As if simplicity and yumminess were not enough, consider the protein power of beans. A question that I am often asked as an almost-vegan is “Where do you get your protein?” These answer is simple: from beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and of course, fruits and vegetables.
Beans in particular:
- Are high in soluble protein, which can lower cholesterol (high cholesterol is why I adopted plant-based living to start with…see my bio).
- Contain no cholesterol – woo!
- Are packed with protein, approximately 7 grams per ½ cup.
- Can prevent constipation.
- Are gluten-free diet friendly.
- Are a source of complex carbohydrates that keep you fuller longer.
- Are inexpensive, especially compared with other protein sources.
- Are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Are super versatile (see my bean salad, chili, and curry formulas to glean ideas).
So, get dippin’…for your health! 🙂
FORMULA BASE: HUMMUS
- 2 cups cooked beans or lentils –> I’m using chickpeas.
- 2 cups cooked vegetables and/or raw herbs (or more beans and lentils, if you want to keep it simple) –> I’m using 1 ½ cups steamed beets and ½ cup fresh parsley.
- Approximately 1 tbsp oil, if including roasted vegetables –> I’m steaming, so I don’t need oil in this case.
- 2-4 cloves raw or roasted garlic –> I’m using two raw cloves.
- ¼-½ cup citrus juice –> I’m using the juice of one large lemon.
- 1 tbsp tahini (optional) –> I’m not using it for this particular recipe.
- Spices, salt, and pepper to taste –> I’m using ¾ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt, and two turns of fresh cracked black pepper.
- Liquid (water, oil, vegetable stock, vinegar, or more citrus juice) as needed until desired consistency is achieved –> I’m using about ¼ cup homemade vegetable stock.
If using, peel if necessary and coarsely chop your vegetables. Decide on a cooking method that works best for the particular vegetable(s) you’re using and have at it. (Steaming will maintain the most nutrients of any cooking method.) I’m steaming my beets in the Baby Bullet steamer that I purchased when Nolan was first born. I knew it would come in handy for more than just baby food! 🙂
When the veggies are finished, put all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Chill for an hour and serve as a dip or use as a spread (just like my pesto formula).
Here, I have mine accompanied by some of my favorite bean-based chips (which I can’t wait to try making myself someday).