Beet hummus is a thing. But beets can be showcased well beyond hummus. So I picked up a couple beets from my farmers’ market and transformed them into a different Middle Eastern dip … baba ghanoush.
I roasted the beets to bring out their full flavor. A hint of smokiness is provided with a pinch of smoked paprika. And you’ll definitely detect the refreshing citrusy notes by way of both fresh lemon juice and zest.
Though I usually prefer traditional eggplant baba ghanoush rather homestyle and lumpy, this red beet version with its stunningly gorgeous fuchsia color looks more beautiful when pureed until velvety. (Hint: The vivid color is from phytonutrients naturally found in beets, called betalains, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities!)
Enjoy this recipe’s nutritious goodness with fresh or grilled whole grain pita bread wedges. Or serve it as a clever sandwich condiment. By the way, this delightful dip is vegan. So enjoy it any day of the week, including Meatless Monday. But be forewarned: Don’t make or eat this while wearing white … or else your dry cleaner will be more pleased than you!
Why it’s better for you? Both hummus and this baba ghanoush are good for you picks! But if you simply need to keep calories or total carbs in check, this dip can be your better bet.
- 2 medium (6- to 7-ounce) fresh organic or local beets with leaves removed
- Juice and zest of 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons juice)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap the beets in recycled aluminum foil and roast in the oven until cooked through and tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Keep wrapped; place in a bowl and chill. When chilled, unwrap and scrape off the beet skin using the dull side of a paring knife. Then chop the beets. (Time-saving note: If desired, use 10 ounces packaged pre-cooked beets.)
- In a high-powered blender or food processor, add the beets, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic, salt, paprika, and cumin. Blend until smooth, at least 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with lemon zest, and serve.
Per serving: 70 calories, 4g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 135mg sodium, 7g total carbohydrate, 1.5g dietary fiber, 4g sugars, 2g protein
The “Before” Version
Inspired by beet hummus
Per serving (1/4 cup): 110 calories, 4g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 15g total carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 2g sugars, 5g protein
- Be inspired by recipes. Often a swap of just one ingredient (including the main ingredient!) can provide for an entirely different and enticing culinary experience.
- When using lemon juice, don’t waste the peel. Find a use for the zest as a garnish or an integral part of the recipe.
- Want a hint of smokiness in a recipe? Just a pinch of smoked paprika may do the trick when you desire extra flavor depth.