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Elysian Eats: Beet Hummus

Written by Lyssandra Guerra

An easy way to ensure you’re getting enough essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your diet is by consuming the colors of the rainbow. It is natural medicine at its best, once again, as we call forth bodily self-healing. By adding color through nutritional nourishment in your daily meals, you can protect yourself from ailments, diseases, and even uplift your mood and spirit.

Running with this idea for today’s recipe, I’ve decided to make a beautiful and vibrant beet hummus. For those intolerant of beans and legumes, fret not — this recipe is bean-less and you wouldn’t even know it. As a general rule of thumb, instead of limiting yourself from your favorite foods, try simply reshaping the recipe by adding something healing in its place.

Aside from it’s eye-catching hue, this beet hummus makes a wonderful snack, packed with exquisite flavors that pair well with vegetables and whole grain breads. Even if you aren’t a beet lover, the lemon and garlic in this recipe balances out the beet’s earthiness, making it an ideal dish to bring along to your next summer gathering. Read on for the health benefits of each ingredient included in today’s recipe.

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• BEETS

The magic of beets is the way they encourage liver cells to rid themselves of toxins. Beets contain a special type of fiber that flushes these toxins from the body, as opposed to getting reabsorbed, as they do in many cases. For example, constipation or feeling ill during a detox or colon cleanse may be an indication of toxin reabsorption. Beets prevent this from occurring.

• TAHINI

If you aren’t familiar with tahini, you should be. Tahini is a Greek sesame seed paste that also aids in liver detoxification due to its powerful amino acid, methionine. Tahini has a higher digestible protein source than most nuts. Not only does tahini offer a rich, nutty, creaminess to this hummus, but it also provides sustenance from its protein and healthy fat content.

• CUMIN

Cumin is a potent spice that possesses an earthy, spicy, and bitter flavor. It harbors many stimulating properties, such as liver cleansing, and improvement to digestion and appetite.

• ZA’ATAR

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made from dried thyme, sesame seeds, sea salt, and dried sumac. The result is an exquisite tangy flavor with an intoxicating aroma. Try sprinkling za’atar over your hummus for an added punch.

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Beet Hummus

INGREDIENTS

2 medium cooked, peeled, and cooled beets
2 tbsp. tahini
1 raw garlic clove
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more as needed
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. Himalayan sea salt
Sprinkle of za’tar (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut the beets into chunks and put them in a steam basket in a pot of boiling water. When beets are soft enough that a fork will slide into them without effort, remove and cool. Once beets are cool, place them in a blender, food processor, or mixing bowl (if you are using an immersion blender). Add in the tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, and salt, and process until completely smooth. Add a little more olive oil as needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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Lyssandra Guerra is a certified Holistic Nutritionist based out of Oakland, California. Using a thoughtful path of whole foods, herbs, and daily rituals, she guides her clients in healing from the inside out. Her aim is to inspire others to eat smart, simple, and nutritious foods so that they can reclaim their health, vitality and glow.

Melanie Riccardi is a product and commercial photographer in San Francisco. Her desire for simplicity has influenced her minimalistic style.

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