Serve this gorgeous show-stopper as a make-ahead appetizer, a satisfying snack, or as a base for an anything-but-boring lunch.
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 life-long fan.
The ingredients are quite simple really. A can of protein-rich garbanzo beans, a couple of beets, a little lemon juice. And where most hummus recipes incorporate tahini, I sometimes use almond or cashew butter.
Any of these will ultimately work well. The rich, buttery flavor of the almond or cashew butter is more neutral than the tahini and pairs especially well with the natural sweetness of the beets. These choices are also helpful for those with a sesame allergy.
The flavor of tahini is earthier and a touch bitter. It’s perfect for those who want to offset the natural sweetness of the beets or simply prefer a more forward flavor from this ingredient.
A small amount of ground cumin also plays well with the flavor of the beets, and cayenne pepper further balances the root vegetable’s natural sweetness without making the hummus spicy. Those who enjoy more pronounced heat may absolutely go heavier on the cayenne.
Finally, to round out the zing of the lemon, I add a touch 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, satisfying fats and, along with the garbanzos and beets, 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.
As an option to avocado toast, I often make Loaded Hummus Toast. For a quick preparation, spread a thick layer of hummus on crunchy toast, top with sliced cucumber, and add a generous sprinkle of sunflower seeds or pepitas for welcome crunch.
It’s easy and so satisfying, and you can use any flavor hummus and vary the toppings.
Cooking beets made easy… 2 easy options
Yield: 2½ cups
- 2 medium cooked beets (about 8 ounces, peeled; here are 2 easy methods)
- 1 (15-ounce) can (or 1¾ cups cooked) garbanzo beans (drain and rinse, reserving a few tablespoons of the liquid)
- 3 tablespoons (46g) almond butter (may substitute tahini or cashew butter)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus an extra squeeze to taste)
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon each cayenne pepper and ground cumin
- ¾ 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. At this point feel free to taste and adjust the seasonings, adding an extra squeeze of lemon juice, if desired.
Serve with veggies dippers (carrots, celery, cucumbers, radishes, etc.), pita chips, crackers, or use as a sandwich spread or for hummus toast. The hummus will keep in the fridge for up to a week.