So, I had a whole new bunch of beetroot in my veg box last week and I’m determined to win over the 3 (oh so nearly 4) year old with this wonderful vegetable. We are told that eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables is a surefire way to know that you’re getting all the essential micronutrients into your diet, so beetroot is surely up there, covering the red to violet area of the spectrum. Beetroot has many wonderful nutritional properties which can be largely maintained when cooked fairly quickly. Apparently, linked to their deep striking colour, they are rich in an unusual array of antioxidants, they have anti inflammatory benefits and they support detoxification in the body… many of these are vague buzz words that I tend to ignore when reading about health foods. But beetroot is not really a health food as such, it is a vegetable; and this is not a dodgy advert, it is an evangelical tribute to something that many of us can easily grow in our own back gardens.
Beetroot are good, not only can they fulfil part of our essential nutritional spectrum, they taste earthy and sweet and once cooked, can achieve a lovely, almost buttery texture and a translucent appearance. Beets are beautiful. However, my little one is not entirely sold, and so I have to perform some magic to garner her appreciation.
I soon resolved that a new hummus recipe was the way to win her over. As well as the beetroot, I decided to add a little horseradish to the classic hummus ingredients. Horseradish goes so well with beetroot, the tangy mild heat perfectly complements the sweet earthy beets and I think it works really well with the other hummus ingredients too. As I was going to roast the beetroot first, I chose to roast the garlic too, to add to the sweet mellow flavour and avoid any bitterness which can occur when using raw garlic.
This is super simple, it’s perfect for snacks and lunches and it’s tasty and super nutritious. The small one loves it on the end of a cucumber or carrot stick, and the dark pink colour makes it infinitely superior to ‘normal’ hummus, of course. Looks like I’ve managed to convince her to include beetroot in her catalogue of acceptable vegetables… Next I need to work on red peppers with the 6 year old.*
Makes roughly 600g of hummus, about 3 pots worth.
- 1 tbsp of refined coconut oil – or whatever oil you prefer to roast in (10p)
- 400g of peeled, cubed beetroot. (85p)
- 5 cloves of garlic (25p)
- 240g of cooked chickpea (85p)
- 50ml of virgin olive oil (34p)
- The juice of 1 lemon (50p)
- 2 tbsp of tahini (27p)
- 1-2 tsp of horseradish sauce** (10p)
- salt and black pepper
Heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
In a large roasting pan, toss the cubed beetroot with the coconut oil and the whole, unpeeled cloves of garlic. Roast in the hot oven for 25 minutes.
Once the beetroot is tender and the garlic is soft, add all the other ingredients, and the beetroot and soft peeled garlic to the food processor, then process for a couple of minutes, scraping the mixture down the sides as you go.
Adjust the seasoning, oil and lemon juice to your own liking, tasting often to achieve a good balance and texture. Continue to process until the hummus is as smooth as you prefer it. Then simply serve it straight away or transfer it to a lidded container to keep in the the fridge.
This recipe makes quite a large batch, so I usually divide this up into three small containers and freeze two of them for another occasion. Then you have something easy to pull out of the freezer to brighten up a lunch, or to take to a meal share.
This batch of mostly organic, deep purple hummus works out at £3.26, which is £1.09 per pot.
* To be fair, my daughters are brilliant vegetable eaters, they will try anything and suffer my endless insistence that they give something they don’t really like ‘one last try’. There is very little that they absolutely won’t touch… except celery, but we are a family of celeryphobes, so much so that it must be genetic.
** I had to do a bit of research to find a vegan horseradish sauce, many of the luxury or organic brands have double cream in and some of the cheaper ones have egg in. If you shop around and check labels carefully you’ll find one that’s probably accidentally vegan, but it most probably won’t be organic. Of course you can buy fresh horseradish root if you can find it, but again it might be tricky to find an organic retailer. If you are using fresh grated horseradish root, I would add a teaspoon more cautiously and check the taste and heat before adding more.