Garlic Beet Hummus
This garlicky hummus takes an unconventional twist by featuring beets. Beets are a nutrition powerhouse packed with loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can aid in cancer prevention, lower blood pressure, improve cognitive functioning, and fight inflammation associated with heart disease.
Thanks to their concentrated nitrate content, beets have been studied for their ability to dilate blood vessels and reduce oxygen demand in the muscles (thereby improving oxygen flow). Dietary nitrates (not to be confused with sodium nitrites found in processed meats), are converted to nitric oxide in the body, which can enhance exercise performance. Beet juice in particular can improve intensity and duration of exercise for endurance athletes. Plus, beets are packed with gut-healthy fiber.
Try them roasted, boiled, or pickled. You can toss cooked beets into salads, puree them into soups and dips, roast them and mash them as a swap for potatoes, or juice raw beets for a healthy breakfast or pre-workout drink.
Beets offer a two-in-one nutrition deal given their leafy greens, so don’t toss the tops! Beet greens taste similar to chard, and are delicious if lightly sauteéd in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.
This hummus recipe is only one of many possibilities that abound from beets, plus contains an added boost of protein from chickpeas!
1 cup sliced cooked beets (about 2 medium beets), previously roasted and cooled (see below)
1, 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons Tahini paste
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cumin
1/8-1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Pulse all ingredients together with a food processor or immersion blender until a thick paste forms. Serve with crackers, veggies (like carrots, cucumber slices, or radish slices), or warmed pita bread.
Yield: Makes about 2 ½ cups of hummus. Will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days.
Note: Beets can be prepared ahead of time by roasting in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until soft enough to be pierced with a fork. Wash beets well, slice off the leaves and root ends, and dice beets into 2” cubes. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wait until cooled to blend.