Hummus is a wonderful and healthy snack, and super easy to make with little planning involved (even easier if you used canned chickpeas). I personally prefer the flavor and texture of using cooked dried beans vs. using canned, though using canned is definitely much easier. If you plan to cook your own beans, make sure to soak them overnight and rinse well before cooking. This cuts down on the cook time and reduces the bloating/ gas effect that eating beans can have.
I played around with adding beets and butternut squash in my kids cooking classes last fall to incorporate veggies in a familiar dip for the kids and they loved it! I chose beet and butternut squash because of the fun color it adds as well as the sweetness it brings to the dip. I’m always looking for ways to incorporate veggies for kids recipes in a way that celebrates veggies as opposed to “hiding” them. The cracker recipe is a variation from my book Baking with Kids, and they are super flavorful and crunchy. Beautiful colorful cut up veggies complement the hummus.
You could also use roasted pumpkin, golden beets, bell peppers or carrots as a variation – just make sure that they are well roasted and soft enough to puree in the food processor. The recipe below is a base recipe – its important to taste the hummus and adjust the seasonings as you go. You can always add more but you cannot remove seasonings once they are mixed in. Play around with the recipe and let me know what you think!
Basic Hummus Recipe
Makes about 2 cups hummus
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked or if using canned, drained
1-2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp- 1/4 cup chickpea cooking liquid, if you cooked yourself (optional)
1/4 cup tahini paste (optional)
2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon, more as needed
1 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste
cayenne to taste
In a food processor, blend the garlic and chickpeas together. Add about 2 Tbsp of the cooking liquid, if using, and then add the tahini paste. In a slow stream, add the olive oil. If you are not using the cooking liquid or tahini you may want to add more to reach the desired consistency. Add the lemon juice and cumin and the remaining seasonings until it tastes the way you like it.
2 medium boiled or roasted beets*, peeled and cut into a medium dice
Add the cooked beet to the chickpeas and process. Proceed with the remainder of the recipe. You may want a little extra lemon juice to balance out the sweetness from the beets.
*To roast beets, place unpeeled washed beets in a rosting pan with about a half inch of water and sprinkle with salt. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast at 425F until you can pierce it easily with a fork. The time varies from beet to beet so check after about 20 minutes and then every 5 or so minutes after that.
*To boil beets, place unpeeled washed beets in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until you can pierce it easily with a fork. The time varies from beet to beet so check after about 20 minutes and then every 5 or so minutes after that.
Butternut squash variation:
1 small roasted butternut squash* (you will have about 1 cup of packed squash – if you have extra you can save it for soup)
Add the cooked butternut squash to the chickpeas and process. Proceed with the remainder of the recipe. You may want a little extra lemon juice to balance out the sweetness from the squash.
*To roast a butternut squash, preheat your oven to 425F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub a small amount of olive oil all around the squash and sprinkle with salt. Arrange cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the flesh is can be smashed easily with a fork. Allow to cool and scoop flesh from the squash. Discard the skins.
Photos are by Kate Davis.