This twist on traditional hummus adds in the numerous nutritional benefits of beets.
Roasted beets not only give the hummus a pop of hot pink color, but also throws in nutrients that have health benefits from boosting athletic performance to boosting cognitive function.
Beets are a health powerhouse packed in a delicious, low-calorie package.
Beets contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, and inorganic nitrates.
The nutrients found in beets have a variety of health benefits which includes:
Lower Blood Pressure: The high concentration of inorganic nitrates in beets has been shown to lower blood pressure. Maintaining proper blood pressure levels is crucial to cardiovascular health, especially for those who are at risk for heart disease.
Boost Athletic Performance: If you’re an athlete, you may be looking for a natural, healthy, inexpensive way to enhance your athletic performance. Studies have shown that the same nitrates that help lower blood pressure may also improve athletic performance by improving oxygen use and increasing the efficiency of energy-producing mitochondria in your cells.
If you’re looking to get the most out of beets’ athletic-boosting benefits, keep in mind that blood nitrate levels peak 2-3 hours after consumption, so consume beets 2-3 hours before exercising to reap the full benefits.
May Fight Inflammation: A study done with raw beet juice and cooked beets showed that supplementation with beets lowered blood pressure and reduced systemic inflammation.
Both raw beet juice and cooked beets had anti-inflammatory effects, though raw beet juice had more of an effect than cooked beets.
Support Digestive Health: A cup of beets provides an impressive 3.4 of the 25 grams of fiber that are the recommended daily intake. Fiber helps to normalize bowel movements and maintain bowel health, lowers cholesterol, improves blood sugar levels, aids in weight loss, and may help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
May Support Brain Health: The nitrates that improve blood flow and lower blood pressure may also keep healthy amounts of blood flowing to the brain, which may help to stave off brain disease and improve cognitive function.
May Fight Cancer: Beetroot extract has been shown to reduce the division and growth of tumor cells in rats. The same study notes that the same compound had chemopreventive (inhibits, delays, or reverses the initiation of cancer formation) effects in skin, lung, and liver cancer in rats.
Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, are extremely versatile and are used in popular dishes like hummus and falafel. Garbanzo beans can also be made into chickpea flour (besan), which is used in many different cuisines, including Indian, Sicilian, Moroccan, Burmese, and Sri Lankan.
A half-cup of garbanzo beans contains 6 grams of fiber. That’s just about a quarter of the daily recommended amount of fiber in just a half-cup. Fiber’s health benefits include boosting digestive and cardiovascular health.
That same half-cup of garbanzo beans also contains 7 grams of protein, an essential building block for your body.
Garbanzo beans also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest fats out there. It contains antioxidants and also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Olive oil also boosts cardiovascular health and can help prevent type 2 diabetes.
In order to get the most out of your olive oil, choose extra-virgin whenever possible. It is the least-processed olive oil and retains the most beneficial components.
Get the anti-inflammatory, digestive and cardiovascular health-boosting goodness of beets and garbanzo beans in the colorful recipe below.
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Number of Servings: Serves 6
1 medium roasted beet, cooled, peeled, and quartered (instructions below)
1, 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tahini (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Dash salt and pepper
Water to thin
Dried sage, to taste (optional)
Cumin, to taste (optional)
Paprika, to taste (optional)
1. In a food processor, blend the roasted beet until mostly smooth. There may be a few small pieces of beet present.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor, except for the olive oil and water. Blend to combine.
3. While the hummus is blending, drizzle in the olive oil. If the hummus is too thick, slowly add water to thin it out to the desired consistency.
4. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve with vegetables and whole-grain pita.
Roasting the Beets
You have two options when it comes to roasting the beets. The first option involves cutting the raw beet into cubes before roasting and the second option roasts the beets whole.
Option 1 (Cubed Beets):
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Scrub and rinse beets thoroughly. If you have whole beets with the stem, remove the leaves and the stalk.
3. Peel the beets and cube. Place cubed beets on the prepared baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add dried sage, if desired.
4. Cover baking sheet with more aluminum foil and roast the beets for 1 hour or until tender.
Option 2 (Whole Beets):
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Scrub and rinse whole beets thoroughly. Remove the leaves and the stalk.
3. Place whole beets on aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with sage, cumin, and paprika, if desired.
4. Wrap the seasoned beets in aluminum foil and roast for 45 minutes or until tender.
Hummus is already nutritionally dense, containing healthy fats, protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
The addition of beets adds even more health benefits. Beets are anti-inflammatory and can lower blood pressure, boost athletic performance, and may even help fight cancer.