By Meg Thompson
Hummus is potentially one of my favorite foods. It wears many hats in my house: a dip, a spread, a topping, a sauce; my daughter eats it straight from the spoon. Made simply it is an amazing dish, but it also lends itself to great variation.
This weeks food matters project was hummus. I found some fabulous heirloom beetroot at the market today and so thought I would make it a beetroot hummus.
Check out the magnificent ‘chioggia’ beetroot which are paler skinned and have a beautiful circular pattern on the inside – so cute!
And as for nutritional content, beets are blessed with antioxidants, folate, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium and iron.
They also strengthen the heart, purify the blood and improve circulation.
So why wouldn’t you want to add it to your hummus!
The other main ingredient in hummus is no wallflower either. Chickpeas are a wonderful source of protein, potassium, iron, calcium and B vitamins.
The secret (if you are using dried beans and cooking them yourself) is to soak them overnight (or longer) covered generously in water with a tablespoon of yoghurt, whey, buttermilk or a squeeze of lemon juice stirred through. This will help to break down the enzymes and make them easier to digest (read no bloating and wind – hooray!).
Once you have soaked the beans, rinse and add to a pot, cover with water and simmer for around 2 hours (it can take between 1 and four hours depending on your beans) until chickpeas are tender. Adding a small piece of kombu to the cooking water will help this process.
So here is a version of one of everyone’s favorite dips.
Beetroot Hummus: The Recipe
200g / around 1 cup cooked chickpeas
200g / 1- 1 1/2 cups cooked beetroot (I roasted mine)
1 large garlic clove
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
A handful of fresh coriander/cilantro (or parsley), roughly chopped sea salt and black pepper
Add all ingredients except the oil and coriander to a food processor or blender and blend. Drizzle in the oil and blend again. You may need to add a little water to the mix to loosen it up a bit until it becomes the consistency that you like. Adjust with salt and pepper. Stir through the coriander/cilantro or use as a garnish.
Delicious and nutritious!