Sumac and Chipotle Roasted Beet Hummus

Snack Attack!! It’s that time between lunch and dinner where my belly begins to rumble. If I am not prepared and have good choices in my refrigerator, I am known to eat anything I can get my hands on. Usually in this case it would be chocolate, chips, or a piece of fruit. However, if I plan for my snack attacks, I can quickly prepare a healthier option, one that will not only satisfy my rumbling tummy but also hold me over until dinner.

One of the classics is hummus.

If made fresh at home, hummus can be a balanced snack offering vegetarian protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. The perfect recipe to satisfy hunger.  Since traditionally hummus is made with tahini, a sesame seed paste and common allergen, some may not be able to enjoy this delicious spread. Therefore, I thought I’d whirl together a non-traditional hummus, different in color and flavor, but still creamy and delicious.

The vivid magenta color comes from the roasted beet. Not only are beets strikingly beautiful but also very delicious. When roasted their subtle sweetness is emphasized and make a perfect addition to smoothies, salads, or like today, in hummus. All I can say is I love beets.

Since I like to sprout my chickpeas, which increases their digestibility, I have written this recipe using dry versus canned beans. Sprouting not only eases digestion, but also reduces the phytic acid associated with beans, grains, nuts, and seeds. Phytic acid can bind with other minerals in our guts, such as calcium and magnesium, hindering their absorption.

How-To: Cook Garbanzo Beans From Scratch
1. Place 1 cup dry garbanzo beans in a large bowl and cover generously with fresh water. Allow to soak on countertop overnight or 24 hours. Exchange the water once or twice depending on the soaking time.
2. Strain soaked garbanzo beans and place them into a 2 quart saucepan. Add 4 cups water and ¼ teaspoon sea salt.
3. Bring to boil. Strain foam from top and reduce to a simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
          * 45 minute cooking time = firm but soft, perfect for curries, stir-fries, roasting, etc. 
          * 60 minute cooking time = soft all the way through, perfect for hummus.
4. Strain the garbanzo beans from liquid and use as desired.

How-To: Roast Whole Beets
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Wash and dry beets. Cut off the tail and beet greens.
3. Wrap each beet in foil and place onto a baking sheet.
4. Allow to roast for 1 hour. Check for doneness by piercing with a knife. If the knife easily cuts through they are done. Continue to roast longer if needed. Depending on the size they can take a bit longer. 
5. Allow to cool so it isn’t too hot to touch. Under running water brush off skin and cut off the top.
6. Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator until needed.

So here ya go! Next time your snack attack arrives you will be prepared! My favorite way to eat hummus is on a rice cracker topped with roasted & salted sunflower seeds, mixed greens, and a little bit of lemon zest on top!

And guess what? Each serving has only 80 calories with 5.8 g of healthy fats, 4 g of fiber and 3 g of vegetarian protein. Yum! Compare that to Trader Joe's Classic Hummus where one 1/4 cup serving has 160 calories, 10 g of fat, 4 g of fiber and 4 g of protein. 

So what do you think, homemade or store-bought? I also have another recipe for Roasted Carrot and Harissa Hummus in case you want something a little more traditional. 
Sumac and Chipotle Roasted Beet Hummus
Makes about 4 cups or 16 ¼ cup servings

1 large clove garlic
2 ½ cups cooked garbanzo beans (see "How-To" above)
1 large beet or 2 medium beets roasted and peeled (see "How-To above)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sumac
½ - ¾ teaspoon chipotle powder (depends on how spicy you like it)
¼ teaspoon cumin
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Place garlic clove in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add freshly cooked garbanzo beans to food processor along with beets. They should both still be warm (this increases the creaminess of the hummus). Process until combined.
3. Add the lemon juice and water and process. Slowly add in the olive oil while the processor is running. Or pulse, add, pulse, add etc.
4. Finally add the sumac, chipotle powder, cumin, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Process until smooth.
5. Your done! Store in separate small containers in the refrigerator to increase shelf-life.

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