Being Lebanese, I grew up with this moreish dip at the centrepiece of every family get together, so it’s no surprise I’m a total hummus addict! I literally add it to everything as it totally transforms the simplest and plainest of meals much like my other food addiction, avocado (both so heavenly creamy). I took this eye-catching remake of the humble hummus to a client’s summer garden party at the weekend and had so many requests for the recipe, that I promised to put it up on my blog. The bright fuchsia hue - especially when paired with a colourful array of veggie crudités like carrot, cucumber, radish, and red pepper - makes for a rainbow pop of a platter fit for any party. It’s my go-to dish for those bring-a-plate festivities.
Most children are enticed by the hot pink dip, so it’s a great way to sneak in some extra veggie goodness for those with fussy eaters. I regret to say, however, that thanks to the processed food industry (McDonald’s and General Mills, I’m talking to you), some kids refuse to eat anything that falls outside the ‘beige’ category (bread, burgers, fish fingers, cakes, donuts, potatoes, hash browns…all so beige). Make up a nice story about this pretty neon dip and how it was originally created for fairies and princesses and they’ll be sure to fall in love with it, just as I have.
Why I love beetroot:
Beetroots have traditionally been praised for their detoxification qualities and ability to purify the blood and liver because of the betalin pigments which assist the body’s phase 2 detoxification process. 1
Other benefits of this earthy root include lowered blood pressure thanks to high levels of nitrates - which convert to nitric oxide when ingested - a chemical believed to have blood pressure lowering ability2, 3. Beets contain an amino acid, betaine, known to guard cells, proteins and enzymes from environmental stress. Dr Mercola says this superfood “fights inflammation, protects internal organs, improves vascular risk factors, enhances performance and helps to prevent numerous chronic diseases”4
The natural sugars in beetroots will satiate the sweetest of sweet tooths. By simply incorporating more sweet veggies (think carrots, red peppers, sweet potato and tomatoes) into your meals you’ll be less likely to reach for sugary junk in between meals, therefore 'crowding out' processed sugar from your diet.
Not only is this ancient vegetable, which dates back to roman times, incredibly nourishing, it also takes a traditional dip from tasty to WOW!
1 medium sized beetroot
1 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas or 400g tin chickpeas
2 heaping tablespoons tahini
1 garlic clove (cooked with chickpeas for those who struggle with raw garlic)
60ml lemon juice
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoon cumin powder (depending if you use dry or tinned chickpeas, see below)
½ teaspoon salt
Roast, steam or boil whole, unpeeled beetroot for about 30 minutes until cooked. Allow to cool then peel and slice into 1cm rounds.
If using dry chickpeas: soak overnight in filtered water. Rinse then cook with 1 teaspoon kombu flakes for around 40 minutes. 20 minutes in, add one whole garlic clove to the pot if you struggle with raw garlic. In the last 5 minutes add one tablespoon apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon cumin to the pot. Drain chickpeas and leave to cool for 10 minutes or so. Chickpeas will expand considerably when you soak, so ensure you cover with plenty of water.
If using tinned chickpeas: drain and rinse well in a sieve until all the soapy residue (saponins) is washed away and water runs clear.
Add beetroot, chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, water, one teaspoon cumin and salt to blender or food processor and pulse for one minute or so, until smooth and creamy.
Garnish with fresh coriander and drizzle of olive oil.
Enjoy with a selection of seasonal vegetable crudites.