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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Food, Glorious Food... Hummus with a Twist

I wasn’t sure whether to title this post under “Food Glorious Food” or “A Healthy Appetite” as it is part of my health kick, but I decided it would be best to keep all the food posts under the one heading so you can look for them. As soon as I can get up the willpower to sift through my Pinterest boards, I’ll let you know, and hopefully you’ll be able to find all my recipes and health tips in one place! Two places even... Yeah, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Anyway, today I took some inspiration for two recipes from when looking for a healthy but filling snack. One was for a dip made with cannellini beans, the other for hummus with beetroot. I decided to combine the two and, served with salad, it ended up making a yummy dinner full of low-fat protein, vitamins and fibre.

It also gave me a chance to use some of the beetroot from the garden... bonus! Beetroot is high in potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A and C and some B vitamins. It’s been known to reduce blood pressure and do all manner of other wonderful things, but if you’re sick of having it out of a jar full of vinegar (I know I am), this recipe makes a great alternative way to add it to your diet.

100g dried chickpeas
100g dried cannelini beans
2 large beetroot
The juice of 1 lemon
4 spring onions
Black pepper
(Make sure you have a blender, too!)

1) You'll need to soak the chickpeas and cannellini beans in water (1:5 water probably) overnight till they’ve softened.
2) To prepare the beetroot, just wash them and take off the tops and tails... make sure you save all the leaves as they can be eaten!
3) Boil the chickpeas and beans together in one saucepan for about 40 minutes, and the beetroot in another for half an hour.
4) Drain the beans, and if the skin hasn’t slipped off the beetroot, peel it off WHILE WEARING RUBBER GLOVES. Unless you want purple hands, of course. Who knows? They might come into fashion... any day now...
5) Place all ingredients in the blender to combine. Do so in small quantities, as when pulses are blended their skins can make the mixture dry and hard to process. Persevere, and you’ll be left with a bowl of purple goodness. Ensure that you taste as you mix, and add more pepper or spice to taste.
6) Serve this dish with crudités to dip. I used the beetroot stalks (surprisingly scrummy) and cucumber, but you could also try carrot or celery sticks. 

I made the beetroot leaves and some tomatoes into a side salad. Intended as a snack, this turned out to be a really filling meal. There was loads left over so I boxed it up into the fridge, and it was delicious cold on wholemeal toast! Would strongly recommend for a lunch box... but more ideas on that later. 

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