Beetroot hummus – seriously pink!

Packed lunches can be a bind, but buying food at school or work can be a challenge when you’re eating a free-from diet. Choice is limited, expensive and often just junk, which is OK from time to time, but not on a daily basis. So hummus is a permanent feature in our fridge, but even that can get a little dull after time – variety is the key.

This beetroot hummus can never be described as dull; the vibrant, almost neon bright pink of the hummus can brighten up any packed lunch, lighting up the senses with colour and taste.
Beetroot is a fabulous vegetable to munch on in the winter months. Sweet and juicy, it’s packed full of nutrients that help get you through the short, wet days and fight off those winter bugs. And if you manage to find some with the leaves still attached, then even better, as this deep green foliage contains even more nutritional goodies that will boost your immunity.

Beetroot is great for your liver, helping it to detoxify, perfect at this time of year when the body is still recovering from excesses over the festive season! Its high fibre content is good for gut health, helping to relieve constipation – it also contains good amounts of the amino acid glutamine, essential for the health of your gut lining. As well as the fibre, beetroot also has good amounts of folic acid, manganese and potassium; the leaves zing with calcium, iron and vitamins A and C.

Beetroot and chickpeas combined make a super-nutrient packed dish. Chickpeas are one of my favourite beans, with it’s strong earthy flavour and high fibre content, they’re good for your taste buds and your body, and an essential ingredient of a whole food, plant based diet. Although they’re not a complete protein, chickpeas are still a good source of protein and packed full of fibre, manganese, folate, iron and zinc as well as other phytonutrients that are beneficial to gut and heart health. And for those with blood sugar problems or looking to lose weight, research shows that chickpeas help regulate blood sugar levels as well as keep you feeling full for longer, so reducing the need to binge on other sugary foods. Phew!

So if you’re not too worn out thinking about how amazing these ingredients are, give this beetroot hummus a go and taste their amazingness! It’s easy to make, and definitely easy to eat!  A perfect snack or lunch companion, dairy free and super healthy.

Beetroot hummus.
400g cooked chickpeas (rinsed if from a tin or soaked and cooked)
2 medium sized cooked beetroot (not in vinegar)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 small clove of garlic crushed and chopped
1 – 2 teaspoons ground cumin
salt
up to 100ml olive oil
Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and blitz until combined. Keep the processor on, add the olive oil gradually until you reach a good texture and ‘dippy’ consistency. Serve garnished with parsley and a little sprinkling of cumin.

* If you cooked the chickpeas rather than use tinned, retain some of the cooking fluid and use this to replace some of the oil. This reduces the fat content, plus adds in some of the nutrients lost in the cooking fluid. Never do this with tinned chickpeas, as the fluid often cotains added salt and sugar.

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