Add colour and nourishment to your plate with our vivid pink beetroot hummus. Not only is it delicious, its silky-smooth texture pairs perfectly with our crisp and mineral-rich tkemali snacks!
The history of hummus
Hummus, houmous, hoummos… however you spell it, this dip is incredibly popular all over the world. It’s also ancient. While there’s no consensus on exactly who invented hummus or when, we know it originated in the Middle East. The key ingredients have been around for centuries, and variants of the dish appear in cookbooks from 13th century Cairo.(1) The full name for the recipe in Arabic is ‘hummus bitahina’, which literally means ‘chickpeas with tahini’. While many of us consider hummus to be a dip, in some regions it’s eaten as a meal in itself.(2) Of course, these versions are much more wholesome and flavourful than what you’ll find in the supermarket! This is part of the reason why making your own hummus is so satisfying. That, and the fact that you can customise the recipe to suit your personal tastes. Regardless of where it comes from and how you eat it, hummus is a versatile, nutritious and delicious dish. It’s also super simple to make. All of which means that this beetroot hummus recipe is sure to quickly become one of your favourites. Oh, and incidentally, it doesn’t really matter how you choose to spell hummus – most variants are technically correct. Just don’t use ‘humus’, because this refers to a type of dark earth made of decaying leaves and plants. Not something you want to dip a cracker into!
The chickpea: an underrated star
Blended chickpeas make up the bulk of a hummus recipe, giving it that gorgeous creamy texture and subtle nutty taste. In addition, these understated legumes have a wonderfully high nutritional value. To begin with, chickpeas are a fantastic source of plant-based protein.(3) This is important for everything from muscle strength to bone health. Additionally, because they’re high in fibre, chickpeas can help with weight management as they leave you feeling full for longer.(4) Both of these properties mean that chickpeas support healthy blood sugar management too. Chickpeas are also rich in several different vitamins and minerals. These include folate, manganese, and iron.(5) The latter is crucial for producing healthy red blood cells, as it's a key component of haemoglobin. This is the protein that transports oxygen from the lungs around the body. Another advantage of tucking into a simple hummus recipe is that chickpeas may support the health of your heart.(6) This is because they’re high in magnesium and potassium, which can help to lower blood pressure. In addition, they might have a positive impact on our cholesterol levels. What’s particularly interesting about chickpeas is that they may also be beneficial for our mental health. For starters, they’re rich in a nutrient called choline that plays an important role in the brain and nervous system.(7) Furthermore, chickpeas boast high levels of selenium and zinc. Studies suggest these minerals could enhance our mood and protect against the development of anxiety and depression.(8) As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to include more chickpeas in your diet. Whether you add them to a stew or blend them to make our beetroot hummus, they’re a cheap, versatile and scrumptious way to boost a meal’s nutritional value.
The other principal ingredient in a recipe for hummus is tahini. Also known as tahina, it’s a smooth paste that’s made from roasted and ground sesame seeds. People have been using it in cooking for hundreds of years. In addition to our beetroot hummus, you’re able to include tahini in all sorts of other dips, dressings and sauces. Alternatively, drizzle it straight from the jar over vegetables or falafels. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also utilise tahini when baking sweet dishes such as cookies and cheesecakes. However you use it, tahini adds a gorgeous nuttiness and creamy texture to your cooking. It’s similar to nut butter, but with a more intense and savoury taste. Adding it to our beetroot hummus recipe ensures you get that perfect smooth consistency, plus a richer depth of flavour. The best part is that it also brings some health benefits of its own to the dip. For example, tahini and sesame seeds are rich in antioxidants called lignans. These help to protect your body against cell damage from free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of developing certain diseases.(9) Research additionally indicates that sesame seeds may have anti-cancer properties too.(10)
Flamboyant and flavourful: our beetroot hummus recipe
One of the fantastic things about hummus is how versatile it is. You can add all kinds of extra ingredients to adjust the colour, texture and taste to suit your preferences or the meal you’re cooking. This is exactly what we’ve done with our beetroot hummus. As the name implies, the most important addition to the classic hummus base is the beetroot. Not only does it deepen the flavour with its sweet and earthy tones, it turns the mixture a gorgeous and vibrant pink. Perfect if you want something eye-catching for a dinner party! The ingredient also boasts several fantastic health benefits, which we’ll discuss below. We recommend oven-roasting the beetroot for about 25-30 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the vegetable is tender enough to cut into easily. After that, carefully remove the skin before popping it into the blender. Wearing gloves can help you avoid those annoying red stains on your fingers! To further develop the flavour profile of our beetroot hummus, we’ve included half a clove of garlic. By crushing it, you get the added benefit of making it easier to peel off the skin. Feel free to add the rest of the clove (or more) if you want an extra-garlicky kick! A pinch of sea salt and a splash of fresh lemon juice round off this easy hummus recipe nicely. When it comes to creating the perfect texture for your beetroot hummus, you have a couple of customisation options. Firstly, you can adjust the amount of water you include to make the mixture thicker or thinner. Secondly, if you prefer a slightly rougher consistency, reduce the length of time you blend your hummus for. Thirdly, more tahini equals more creaminess. It’s that simple!
The health benefits of beetroot
As mentioned above, adding beetroot to a hummus recipe does more than just make it look pretty. It also dials up the dish’s wellness-boosting potential thanks to its high levels of vitamins and minerals. Beetroot is rich in compounds called nitrates, which are thought to be good for your heart. Studies indicate that beetroot can help to lower blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.(11) Nitrates also dilate blood vessels, which can increase the blood flow to your brain and potentially improve your cognitive functions.(12) In recent years, beetroot has enjoyed a growth in popularity thanks to its positive impact on sports performance. Research has found that the nitrates in beetroot can also help to boost efficiency and exercise endurance in athletes.(13) For us non-professionals, beetroot juice could enable us to get more out of our workouts and reach our fitness goals. Not an athlete? No worries! Beetroot has a wealth of other benefits to offer. For instance, the betalains that give the vegetable its stunning red colour also have high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.(12) This is great news because experts have linked inflammation to several harmful medical conditions, including arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.(14) Beetroot may even have some anti-cancer properties, although more research needs to be done to confirm this.(15) Finally, beetroots are a fantastic source of fibre. This supports your digestive health and has a beneficial effect on the good bacteria in your gut.(16) All of which goes to show why this is the best hummus recipe to choose!
Scoop up: the perfect combo of beetroot hummus and tkemali crackers
So, you’ve got your vibrant and velvety bowl of magenta beetroot hummus at the ready. What’s the best thing to dip into it? Pitta bread is the traditional choice, with vegetable sticks being another popular option. However, here at Erbology, we think we’ve found the ideal match in our organic tkemali beetroot snacks. The crisp texture of these crackers pairs perfectly with the creamy smoothness of the beetroot hummus. This creates a wonderful contrast on your palate with every bite. Plus, they’re just the right size and shape to scoop up a satisfying amount of dip each time. And you don’t have to worry about them going soggy! In addition to beetroot, we season the snacks with a traditional Georgian sauce called tkemali. This is a unique blend of sour plums, lemon and garlic, enhanced with warming spices like coriander and cayenne pepper. Overall, you get a delicious combination of sweet and sour flavour that complements the earthiness of the beetroot hummus beautifully. It will come as no surprise that these crackers are also impressively nutrient-dense. That means you’re free to tuck into them without feeling guilty! Isn’t that what snacking should be all about?
Introducing our tkemali beetroot snacks
We make our Organic Tkemali Beetroot Snacks with buckwheat grown in Eastern Europe. The farmers pick it by hand and ship it out to us, and we then sprout it. This helps to ensure that the nutrients the buckwheat contains are easier for you to digest. For the same reason, we activate the almonds and other nuts and seeds that we use in the crackers. We make all of our crackers by hand in small batches, using a raw process. This means that we never expose the ingredients to temperatures above 42ºC, so you get the maximum health benefits. And of course, all the packaging we use when shipping our snacks out to you is environmentally friendly. Speaking of health benefits, our crackers are rich in key minerals such as phosphorus, iron, magnesium and potassium. Phosphorus plays a significant role in fi