When I first laid eyes upon this colorful sister of the traditional middle eastern dip, I was smitten by its vibrant ruby hue. Thanks to the addition of a humble root vegetable, the color is nothing short of spectacular. One taste and I was a friend for life.
The ingredients are quite simple really. A can of protein-rich garbanzo beans, a couple of beets, and a little lemon juice. But where most hummus recipes incorporate tahini (sesame seed paste), I like to use almond butter. Either one will ultimately work well, but I think the rich, buttery almond flavor pairs especially well with the natural sweetness of the beets. To round out the zing of the lemon, I also add just a hint of balsamic vinegar.
The very first time I prepared beet hummus, I planned to add olive oil, just like I do in my typical hummus recipes. I found, however, that it really wasn’t needed. The almond butter provides just right amount of healthy fats and, along with the garbanzos, lends a velvety texture that’s every bit as delicious as it is nutritious.
The first time I offered this pretty dip to my younger son, he took a tiny taste to humor me, commenting that he doesn’t really like hummus. The first bite was followed by a long pause as he rethought the situation. Then he grabbed a few more crackers, and said, “But I like this hummus!” Kid-friendly beet hummus. Who would’ve thought?
Serve this show-stopper as a make-ahead appetizer, a satisfying snack, or use it as the base for an anything-but-boring lunch.
Cooking beets made easy… 2 easy options
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
- 2 medium roasted (or otherwise cooked) beets (about 8 ounces, peeled; (here are 2 easy methods)
- 1 (15-ounce) can (or 1 3/4 cups cooked) garbanzo beans (drain and rinse, reserving a few tablespoons of the liquid)
- 3 tablespoons almond butter (may substitute tahini)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few turns of the pepper mill
Roughly chop the cooked and peeled beets, and then place them in a food processor along with the garbanzo beans. Briefly process, scrape down the sides, and then add the remaining ingredients on top. (This prevents these ingredients from getting trapped under the blade.) Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice, as needed.
If you would like the consistency of the hummus to be thinner, add some of the reserved liquid, a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is achieved. If you forgot to reserve the liquid, you may use water or olive oil. (I often don’t add any additional liquid.) At this point feel free to taste and adjust the seasonings, adding an extra squeeze of lemon juice, if desired.
Serve with raw veggies dippers (carrots, celery, cucumbers, radishes, etc.), pita chips, crackers (We love Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seedy variety), or use as a sandwich spread. The hummus will keep in the fridge for up to a week.