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October 24, 2021
Hummus is traditionally a Middle-Eastern-Mediterranean dip or sauce made primarily from cooked chickpeas, or garbanzo beans. If you've never had the pleasure of eating falafel or are looking for delicious vegetarian recipes, chickpeas are a healthy, nutritious source of fibre, vitamins, folate, magnesium and much more. Chickpeas and the hummus made from them has become very popular the world-over in the last years. As such, we've also managed to come up with different versions to suit our own tastes and climates.
For that reason, in comes pumpkin, a winter staple that can be used just as versatile as chickpeas! Now, why not combine them together for a special treat perfect for the holidays? It's easy and great for having guests over or just when you want something different. Traditionally, hummus is made from blended, cooked chickpeas with tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, garlic and salt, with some added extras of olive oil, yogurt and/or other Middle Eastern seasonings according to region. Hummus can be served as a dip or a spread with (pita) bread, chips, crackers, sliced veggies, or added as a sauce to salads, warm dishes, or anything else your heart desires.
For this pumpkin-hummus recipe, we eliminated the tahini and substituted that creamy texture-giver for some pumpkin to add color, a hint of savory flavor and an extra punch of nutritious benefits. Fall spices can be added tp give a more warming flavor perfect for the colder times of the year.
Soak the dried chickpeas** overnight (or, for at least 8 hours) wash and strain, add fresh water and cook covered for 1 1/2 hours (pressure cookers cook faster) until soft and peels start to come open. Add salt to taste.
While chickpeas are cooking, peel, de-seed, and cut a pumpkin into cubes and then steam for ca. 30 mins (for a more detailed instruction of preparing steamed pumpkin, see here). Alternatively, you can also roast the pumpkin without peeling and instead slicing for an added savory flavor, just make sure to brush oil on the slices. After cooling, simply peel back or use a spoon to remove cooked pumpkin.
Now comes the best part:
With a food-processor (recommended) or an emulsion blender, blend chickpeas, pumpkin, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and desired spices together. Once a creamy texture has been met, taste and season/add more oil accordingly. Garnish with the preferred seeds and a dash of (smoked) paprika. Serve with crackers, warm bread, or as a side dish for a delicious healthy, holiday treat!
*If you're in a hurry and don't have time to prepare and cook the chickpeas or pumpkin, one 15 oz. cans can be substituted.
**Soak about 3/4 - 1 cup of dried chickpeas to achieve 1 3/4 cups of cooked. For preparing ahead you can double the amount or soak more to use for other recipes (if stored in the cooked juice in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week). You can also freeze the leftover chickpeas for a longer period.
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