Roasted Beet Hummus with Basil Pesto
A vibrant, healthy and nutrient-dense vegetarian appetizer, this roasted beet hummus is topped with homemade basil pesto and pine nuts.
Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday…are you ready? I’m good to go with this roasted beet hummus, spinach and artichoke dip, herbed cassava tortilla chips and ultimate seed crackers. I don’t think I’ve ever been this prepared. Now, I just have to run to the market to pick up an alcoholic beverage or two (probably of the Russian water variety).
But can I just say how excited I am to be an absolute lazy bones, chill out, eat good food and hang with friends?! I’ve been working wayyy too much lately, so tomorrow’s gonna be all about brain-turned-off mode. Which, I probably need to implement far more often.
And it’s not like I even like football (oh, I know, the blasphemy!). I’ve tried time and again to really love it, seriously I have. I went to grad school at USC where going to football games at the coliseum was a BIG deal. But without fail I’d attend the games, have a drink or two, start chatting with girlfriends and have zero idea what was going on. Though I did learn that when they throw those yellow flags in the air that meant TV time-out….I think. But I was good at cheering…when everyone else cheered. Typical, right?
I can’t say that tomorrow’s gonna be much different than my college days. Except now it’s all about the food, catching up with friends and of course the commercials. Oh my gosh, should I even admit that I don’t even know who’s playing? Ugh, I’m a total football fail – someone save me.
So let’s quickly switch to the health benefits of this beet hummus, to divert from my football know-nothingness. Chickpeas, the base of hummus are wonderful for gut health as they’re loaded with fiber and keep things moving through your digestive system (in other words, they help with constipation). But here’s the really good part. The type of fiber they’re loaded with is insoluble fiber – the kind that helps to lower “bad” cholesterol while feeding the “good” gut bugs in your microbiome, because it doesn’t break down until it hits the large intestine. And when it does hit the large intestine, those good gut bugs feed off the insoluble fiber, creating short-chain-fatty-acids – giving you energy and protecting the health of your colon.
Yep, I’m a complete dork and love gut talk. Did you know I was one of the first people to have their microbiome mapped by uBiome (back when they were an itty bitty company in kickstarter phase)? Like I said, total dork.
But when it comes to chickpeas, properly soaking and preparing them is key in order to increase digestibility. Sure, you can always buy canned (which have already been soaked)…but once you taste the difference with freshly soaked chickpeas – it’s a world of difference. If you have time, go the extra mile!
Okay, lots of chickpea talk but let’s also talk beets. You know I love beets, from this recipe, this recipe and this one. They’re heart-healthy, fight inflammation and are great detoxifiers. So beets + chickpeas make this roasted beet hummus a nutrient-dense, power-packed appetizer for you and your bacteria. And happy bacteria is a happy you.
Lastly, all you have to do is top the roasted beet hummus with my basil pesto and a sprinkle of pine nuts.
Enjoy the big game – and the commercials!
- 1 large beet (or 2 small)
- 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas (approx ½ cup dried)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- Cut the stem off the beet and wash the outside thoroughly. Wrap the beet in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 50-60 minutes, then remove and let cool slightly. When the beet is cool enough to handle, remove the aluminum foil, gently rub off the skin and slice into quarters.
- Place the beet and all remaining ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender. Mix for one minute, or until smooth and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Wash and clean the food processor. Add all basil pesto ingredients and pulse until mixed. Due to the small quantity, you may have to scrape the sides and re-pulse.
- Add the pesto to the hummus and top with extra olive oil and pine nuts.
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