Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, are an excellent source of the essential nutrients, such as protein, iron, manganese, folic acid, copper and dietary fiber. Because of plant-based protein, they are perfect for vegetarians and vegans. I never buy canned garbanzo beans; I always cook them. In my opinion they taste a lot better, are fresh and much cheaper. But you have to soak them over night and they take almost 2 hours to cook (less if you use a pressure cooker). Because this process is so time consuming, I always cook a large quantity. I simply set the timer in my induction hob so I don’t forget them. When cooked and cooled, I use as much as I need, and what’s left I stock in a freezer in small quantities so they can be quickly defrosted when needed for hummus, soup or salad. If you don’t have time for that, or simply don’t want to bother with presoaking and long cooking, the canned version is convenient and a reasonable choice.
I am in love with Middle Eastern cuisine, and hummus is one of my favorite dishes. But I’m not a big fan of eating the same food all the time, and I like to experiment, so I tried to make different variations of the dish. The results were fantastic! First I made basic hummus. In a food processor I combined tahini, chickpeas, lemon juice, yogurt, olive oil, salt and garlic cloves and processed them until the mixture was fully combined and smooth.
For the flavor variations I divided a hummus into equal parts, adding different vegetables, and put it in a food processor once again. The plate looks über cool for a party, but it’s a bit time-consuming if you make all variations all at once. Not because it’s complicated, but you have to roast veggies (I roast them all at once in a big tin), and because you have to clean the food processor every time you make a different flavor.
And if you adore cleaning like I do, you might end up with few more grey hairs by the end of the process. Just a little warning for you, but I promise it’s all worth it. And it will still look and taste fantastic if you make and serve just one or few at a time
So here are my rainbow hummus variations:
Combine basic hummus and roasted beet in the food processor and process until smooth. This is one of my favorites because I just love beets and the color looks unreal, like you grinded an entire Barbie city.
Butternut Squash Hummus
Combine basic hummus and roasted butternut in the food processor and process until smooth.
Bell Pepper Hummus
Remove skin and seeds from pepper. It’s easy to peel the skin off when it’s roasted. Combine basic hummus and roasted red bell pepper in the food processor and process until smooth.
Combine basic hummus and roasted leek in the food processor and process until smooth.
Combine basic hummus and roasted carrots in the food processor and process until smooth.
Sweet Potato Hummus
Combine basic hummus and roasted sweet potatoes in the food processor and process until smooth.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes Hummus
Combine basic hummus and sun-dried tomatoes in the food processor and process until smooth. This one is one of my favorites, but it’s a little saltier than the others, since dried tomatoes contain high levels of sodium.
Combine basic hummus and avocado in the food processor and process until smooth.
And last but not least one of the tastiest dishes, one that you need to try, requires you to combine basic hummus and peeled, unsalted pistachios in the food processor and process until smooth.
- 6 cups (about 1 kg) of cooked or canned chickpeas
- 6 tsp tahini
- 6 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
- ⅔ cup (about 100 grams) roasted beets
- ⅔ cup (about 100 grams) roasted butternut squash
- ⅔ cup (about 100 grams) roasted and peeled bell pepper
- ⅔ cup (about 100 grams) roasted leek
- ⅔ cup (about 100 grams) roasted carrots
- ⅔ cup (about 100 grams) roasted sweet potato
- ⅔ cup of sun dried tomatoes
- ⅔ cup (about 100 grams) of avocado
- ¾ cup (about 100 grams) of pistachios
- Place chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice and salt in the food processor to make basic hummus. Turn on the food processor and process until the mixture is smooth.
- In the preheated oven, roast beetroot, butternut squash, bell pepper, leek, carrots and sweet potatoes on 350 °F (180 ºC) for about 30 minutes.
- Divide basic hummus in equal parts then add in each individual group of roasted vegetables, sun dried tomatoes, avocado and pistachios for the flavorings you fancy.