For those of you who thought beetroot only had its place in sprucing up Aussie burgers or ham and salad rolls, think again.
Long confined to cans, sliced and drowned in sugary beetroot juice and preservatives (and lacking in nutrients), beetroot was the staple of every Australian household.
Years ago when I first saw beetroot in it’s natural state; raw, grated and sharing a plate with some unidentifiable mound of vegetable mush, my thoughts were “Leave it to the hippies. Give me canned any day!
Now I’m older – and perhaps a little wiser – I’ve come to realize the incredible benefits eating beetroot has for the body – and let me say – using fresh beetroot is best. Tastes great in a juice blend of apple, celery, carrot and ginger and really makes your body sing too!
Today I’ll share a dip recipe with you that incorporates steamed fresh beetroot into a much loved favourite – hummus. The end result is a beautiful earthy sweetness with the added flavour and texture of spicy dukkah. You can spread it on crackers or gluten free toast or sandwiches.
My sister Sandra bought a tub of it here in Sydney when she was staying with me and I was pleasantly surprised as to how much I enjoyed it. I wanted to smear it on everything.
Pffffffttt – “Wasn’t me!”
If the thought of eating chickpeas makes you clench your buttocks in horror, there IS a way to avoid boarding the gas train. It’s all about soaking the chickpeas in order to reduce the gas inducing properties. Soaking creates enzymes that pre-digest the beans, making it easier for your body to digest.
Here’s what to do –
Soak about 3 cups of dry chickpeas (sold at supermarkets and health food stores) overnight (or about 8 hours) in a large bowl of fresh water. Make sure the water line is at least 2.5 cms (an inch) above the chickpeas as they will expand as they soak up the liquid.
Next morning, drain and rinse chickpeas thoroughly and place them into a saucepan of cold water. DO NOT SALT. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, boiling for roughly 1 – 1 1/2 hours (or until chickpeas are tender).
Drain in a colander, gently rinse and allow to cool. Scoop out about 1 1/2 cups into your food processor and continue on with the recipe. You may find that freshly cooked chickpeas are not as “wet” as canned so you may need to add a little water to the recipe. Test it as you go and add water as needed until you have the consistency you want.
You can freeze the remaining cooked chickpeas in portions (for up to 3 months) and next time you feel like making hummus, take them out and defrost.
Why this is so healthy for you:
Beetroot reduces blood pressure including the risk of stroke and heart attacks, aids in the development of a baby’s spinal cord (more so when raw), helps fight anemia and fatigue, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, reduces “bad” cholesterol, stabilises blood sugar, fights the progression of dementia, helps to detoxify the liver, suppresses development of some types of cancers, keeps the intestinal tract healthy and boosts stamina.
Chickpeas boost energy, stabilise blood sugar, lower the risk of heart attack, reduce risk of colon cancer, reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and support strong bones.
Garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties, supports the circulatory, digestive and immune systems, helps lower blood pressure, assists in detoxification, prevents formation of blood clots, reduces blood pressure, helps with asthma, regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics and lowers the risk of most types of cancer.
Sesame seeds protect the liver, help relieve rheumatoid arthritis, lower blood pressure, help prevent colon cancer, improve bone health and strengthen the immune system.
Hazelnuts help protect the body from cancer, maintain healthy skin, hair and nails, keep bones strong and healthy, support the digestive system and promote a healthy nervous system.
Cashews reduce the risk of colon cancer, protect against heart disease, lower blood pressure, provide flexibility in bones and joints, make teeth and gums strong and healthy, prevent gallstones and protect from macular degeneration.
Cumin helps asthmatics, diabetics, helps fight cancer, aids digestion, helps relieve constipation, helps relieve insomnia, helps fight viral infections, boosts the immune system, helps fight anemia, promotes healthy, beautiful skin and helps remove toxins from the body.
Coriander aids digestion, helps prevent anemia, good for eye health, relieves headaches, muscle paint and arthritis.
Chilli fights sinus congestion, aids digestion, helps relieve migraines, muscle, joint and nerve pain, controls blood pressure and aids in metabolism for weight loss.
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 400g can organic chickpeas)
- 1 large beetroot, skin on. (or 450 g can chopped beetroot) *
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons hulled tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ cup raw hazelnuts
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder (or more if you want it spicier)
- Rinse and drain chickpeas (if using canned).
- Lightly scrub and rinse beetroot. Place whole beetroot (with skin on) in steamer basket and steam for about 30 – 40 minutes or until tender.
- Take out and allow to cool. Peel skin and cut into quarters.
- Place all beetroot hummus ingredients in a 3 – 4 cup capacity food processor and blitz until smooth. (Add water if needed)
- Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Preheat oven to a moderate temperature (about 170 degrees C or 150 fan forced).
- Roast hazelnuts and cashews separately in a pan or baking tray for up to 10 minutes each (or until lightly browned). Cool.
- Dry fry sesame seeds in small frying pan.
- Place hazelnuts, cashews, cumin and coriander in a 3 – 4 cup capacity food processor and blitz until mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Stir in sesame seeds and chilli powder.
- Sprinkle dukkah generously over the beetroot hummus. As the first layer of hummus/dukkah gets eaten, you can sprinkle some more dukkah over the hummus again if you wish.
* If you don't have a steamer basket, you can boil the beetroot (better than using canned).
* If using canned beetroot, the result will be a sweeter tasting hummus due to the added sugar. To rectify this, rinse beetroot.
* Keeping the skin on beetroot while steaming will preserve colour and flavour.
* If using normal table salt, adjust amount you use or hummus will be saltier than if using sea salt.
* Make sure you rinse canned chickpeas due to salt content.
* This chilli dukkah is fairly mild in heat. If you like it spicier, add a bit more chilli powder according to taste.
* If you don't use up all your dukkah for this recipe, simply grab a small bowl, pour in some quality olive oil and dip your favourite bread into the oil, followed by the dukkah.