Vegan Holiday Recipes: Spicy Cranberry Hummus

November 28, 2016
People talk big game about the holiday meats like turkey and ham--pounds, cooking time and methods, brands and breeds. As a vegan, you might get a few sad looks from friends and family during holiday food discussions because of, well, the lack of participation in the table's centerpiece. But what we all know, vegans and omnivores alike, is that the sides and appetizers are really the star of this food-filled day. And with the countless ways to whip, chop, sauté, spiralize, and bake dishes that are cruelty-free, holidays can be a vegan's delight. For holiday meals at my house, we start eating around noon: a round of hors d'oeurves including biteables of all sorts, crunchy and melty, dips and spreads. Our crudite platter bursts with color--red peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, etc.--and of course every vegetable's best friend, hummus. Most brands you can find in the store come in myriad flavors and styles, but as I like to say, "Why not make it yourself?" Elevate your hummus game with this spicy holiday-themed hummus, exploding with the bright flavors of raw, fresh cranberries and lime juice instead of the traditional lemon. Depending on your and your guests' tolerance for garlic, you can add up to 3 cloves (also because this makes a decent amount--and you know you'll want leftovers...). The spices can also be adjusted depending on how sweet (try cloves) or spicy (an extra dash of cayenne or harissa) you want it. Hummus, of course, can find its way to the dinner table as a lovely dip for a kale patty or lentil loaf.
Vegan Holiday Appetizer: Spicy Cranberry Hummus

Vegan Holiday Recipes: Spicy Cranberry Hummus

Recipe Type: Appetizers Detox
utensils YIELDS Serves 10-12
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, plus 1/3 cup reserved cooking water
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, some reserved for garnish
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fermented chile paste (gochujang)
  • 1-3 garlic cloves
  • Drizzle olive oil, for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
        graphic for recipe card


1. If you're working with dried chickpeas (which I recommend), soak them overnight in enough water to cover by 2 inches in the refrigerator. In a medium saucepan, add chickpeas and soaking water plus 1 teaspoon baking soda and enough water to cover them (they'll have soaked up some water from the night before). Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, then cover and cook for 25-30 minutes until they're very soft and the skins are peeling off. (I.e., cook them longer than you would for regular eating.) Drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, combine tahini, lime juice, and garlic in a food processor and blend until smooth and whipped.
3. Add 1 cup of the cooked chickpeas and blend. Add cranberries and spices, and blend until they've become small pieces. Scrape down the side of the bowl, add spices, chile paste, and remaining 1 cup chick peas. Blend until very smooth, and taste to adjust spices and consistency.
4. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and top with reserved fresh cranberries.

Also by Jennifer: Vegan Matcha Soba Noodles

Related: Ginger Sesame Edamame Dip

Yucca Fried with Chimichurri Dip

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Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla

Features Editor Jennifer Kurdyla is a New York City girl with Jersey roots and a propensity for getting lost in the urban jungle. An experienced publishing professional, yoga instructor, home chef, sometimes-runner, and writer, she adopted a vegetarian lifestyle in 2008 and became vegan in 2013. She has written for The Harvard Review Online, The Rumpus, and Music & Literature and maintains a wellness-based website, Be Nourished, which features original writing and recipes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram @jenniferkurdyla, Twitter @jenniferkurdyla, and Pinterest.


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