Above: the gorgeous hot pink hummus topped with organic hempseed for a kick of protein and contrast.
Cultured Roasted Beetroot Hummus
Okay, so a quick word about fermenting beans and legumes. Generally beans are not beloved by paleo or keto folks because they contain a high level of phytates and lectins, which are believed to slow the absorption of dietary minerals including iron, zinc, manganese and calcium. So in essence they can be an “anti-nutrient”. Cooking and then fermenting legumes can reduce these phytates and lectins by up to 85%, essentially making the issue a non-issue. It is similar to why people who are lactose intolerant can often drink milk kefir… because the kefir granules “eat” the lactose and produce the super-probiotic yogurt that is so good for our guts. This is a process we are much more familiar with in the production of wine, beer and spirits but in these forms produces a significant amount of probiotics, which benefits our gut and therefore all those beautiful neuro-transmitters that effect our brains and body as a whole. Also, as a lovely side note, the beans become a little less the “musical fruit” we all so lovingly sang about as children. Or was that just my family??
Moving swiftly on! This lovely pink stuff is a remake of the famed hummus, which my neighbor savored for months… yes, months. I love beetroot, which is something I only discovered upon visiting Australia for first time. B.A. (Before Australia) I had always despised it. There are certain things that seem to be a part of a country’s identity… sometimes that covers the preparation of certain foods. Well this is one area where they beat the U.S. all to heck. In addition to the gorgeous sweet pickled beetroot I found on many a table when visiting… my now Australian family introduced me to beetroot hummus. One day my bro and sis in law came in after church with some amazing smelling Turkish food… Ekmek (BIG pita style bread) alongside a spread of tzaziki, olives, shawarma, standard hummus and this pot of hot pink beetroot hummus. I fell. The following recipe is one I developed when my little family and I were living in Northern Ireland. It’s fun, budget friendly and sooooo yum.
I have done this with roasted beetroot or cultured beetroot… both are good options and have slightly different flavors. Keep your roasted root to a cup for this one as too much caramel is not a good taste in savory hummus. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Above Left: Day 1 with olive oil sitting on top and protecting from outside bacteria.
Above Right: Day 2 of ferment; hummus has expanded with gas and is ready to eat or store in fridge to slow ferment.
200g dried chick peas, soaked overnight and cooked, drained and rinsed (makes about 3 cups)
1 cup roasted beetroot
4-6 garlic cloves
½ cup whey from a batch of live yogurt or milk kefir, cultured vegetable juice from a previous ferment (I used the juices from my fermented red onions)
1/4 cup tahini or 3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds or toasted sunflower seeds
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon sea salt, celtic sea salt or pink salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ – ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (poured over top to seal out bacteria)
I like to use dried chickpeas, so I measure out 250 grams (a little over a 1/2 pound/8oz) and soak them overnight in. Pour into a bowl or container, fill with water and cover. In the morning, strain and rinse the chickpeas. Bring a pot of water to boil, pour in the chickpeas and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. I’m totally lazy and ADD so I prefer to stick them in the crockpot and forget about them until I have time to get to them. Once cooked, strain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse.
While your chickpeas are cooking, wash, trim and dice 2 – 3 red beetroot (one bunch usually suffices if they come in a group of 3)
Lay parchment paper or foil on a cookie sheet and spray with a little coconut oil to prevent the extreme sticking that happens when beetroot caramelizes.
Toss the beetroot on and roast on medium to low heat for 30-60 minutes. (I did 275 degrees F for 1 hour.
When you can stab your beetroot easily with a fork and they are soft, move them to your food processor.
Add the chickpeas and all other ingredients (hold out the olive oil) and process until smooth.
If serving immediately, leave out the whey. Spoon into a bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then drizzle a bit more on the top. Serve with crudite platter or chips.
If fermenting, hold out the olive oil until the very end. Transfer hummus to a 2 litre clip top jar, cover with the olive oil and clamp closed. Slowly rotate the jar until the olive oil seals the entire empty surface. Leave to ferment for 2 days. Once finished, stir the olive oil in and store in a 1 liter glass jar or BPA free container in the fridge.
Pro Tip: Make sure your jar is double the capacity of your hummus or you’ll find a really gross ooze all over your counter in a couple days… or sooner.