I love hummus, I really do! I mean, it’s part of the vegan code isn’t it? I’m pretty sure when you sign up to be vegan, your handbook comes with a basic hummus recipe. It’s a great source of protein, you can use it in a variety of ways–as a dip, on sandwiches, in wraps, in place of sauce on pizza, spread on a bagel or toast instead of cream cheese, or just eaten with a spoon.
The problem is, basic hummus gets boring.
To spruce it up in the past, I’ve added kalamata olives, jalapeno and cilantro, sweet potato, roasted red pepper. In honor of Valentine’s Day, however, I wanted something a little more lovely and loving… and PINK!
A few years ago, I discovered that if beets are prepared correctly, they are actually quite delicious. (Not the nasty, tastes like a combo of metal and earth that you get from beets in a can.) For me, preparing “correctly” means roasting until they release a nice sweet and slightly caramelized flavor.
Plus, beets are good for your health, especially your heart and brain. Who wouldn’t want that on the day of the year reserved for love?!
Among their many health benefits, beets are loaded with fiber, potassium, B vitamins and iron. They are great for your mental health and for heart health, containing betain (which lowers your blood levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can damage your arteries), and tryptophan (which relaxes your mind); a wonderful tonic for cleansing your liver and blood; fights cancer; and even acts as an aphrodisiac! (oh la la!)
So instead of chocolates or roses, consider sharing this beautiful hummus recipe with someone you love. After all, February is also National Heart Health Month.
Love Your Heart Hummus
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 medium beet, roasted and peeled (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons tahini
1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
juice of 1 small lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup water, if needed
Add everything to a blender or food process and puree until smooth. Add water a little at a time if needed to keep blades moving and for smoother consistency.
Read more about the health benefits of beets.
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Photo: Christine Oppenheim