I made this beautiful smoked paprika hummus for Pura Vida Social Club last year and it was such a source of happiness for both our taste buds and our eyes… I think food should always be as vibrant and colourful as possible and this really brings some beauty and flavor to anything it touches.
Beet is a powerful antioxidant, and often overlooked as a simple sugary vegetable destined to be juiced, grated or boiled within an inch of its life. Here, I roast it and the flavour is so much richer. And the health benefits of beetroot go far beyond what we might imagine: it purifies the blood, strengthens the heart, improves circulation and benefits the liver in numerous ways. The compound betaine, which gives it its majestic colour, helps reduce the build up of fatty deposits in the liver and raises levels of glutathione, an antioxidant which plays a central role in its detoxification process. The fibre pectin, which beets also contain, then helps flush out the toxins, so both the breaking down and elimination processes of the liver are well supported. It is a bright little detox hero.
But back to the kitchen: this hummus is so easy and quick you will be amazed at what a punch it packs. The smoky paprika adds some much needed warmth on cold winter days and works beautifully with the earthy flavour of the beets.
You can make this raw if you prefer – soaked chickpeas and raw beetroot would work just as well and bring a lighter, sweeter flavour.
1 cup cooked chickpeas (preferably soaked then boiled, not from a can)
2 tbsp hemp or flavourless coconut oil
5 medium sized beetroot
2 tbsp tahini (or more to taste)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper to season
Pistachios to garnish
A little water for consistency
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, chop and peel your beets and roast them in the oven in 1 tbsp of the hemp oil, sprinkled with sea salt, until they are tender and soft. (You can use pre-boiled beetroot but they will be a little less nutritious if much, much easier).
When they are done, blend them together with the chickpeas, oil, lemon juice, smoked paprika and tahini, seasoning as you go. Pulse the mixture until it is smooth but a little chunky, taste and add more tahini, lemon, salt paprika or some water if necessary. The idea here is to really make it how you like it – for some, paprika is super strong but I usually add more at the end because that smokiness is really beautiful with the tahini and beets.
Garnish with chopped pistachios, a sprinkle of extra paprika and a little sea salt and serve.