Hummus Gets a Beauty-Boosting Twist with Beets
Looking for a satisfying nibble that’s low in calories, high in healthy nutrients, and loaded with beauty bonuses? Try this delicious twist on everybody’s favorite healthy dip.
Beet hummus has it all. Not crazy about hot pink food? Hear us out. That vivid color is the sign of its exceptionally high antioxidant content. It comes from the betalain pigment, which has been shown have even more free radical-scavenging ability than its powerhouse counterpart anthocyanin (found in many other brightly pigmented fruits and vegetables).
Betalains come in two types: betacyanins, the deep red-violet pigments, and betaxanthins, which are yellow toned. In addition to their antioxidant strength, betalains possess anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. The pharmacological properties in beets are so impressive that scientists are investigating their effect of beetroot supplementation on inflammation, oxidative stress, cognition, and endothelial function. Just a handful of vegetables—beets, rhubarb, chard, amaranth, prickly pear cactus, among them—contain these highly bioactive pigments.
Betalains aren’t the only beneficial elements that give the beet its health and beauty-boosting benefits. Beetroot contains several highly bioactive phenolics including rutin, epicatechin, and caffeic acid, which are also known to be excellent antioxidants. The purple roots are high in vitamin A and vitamin C, antioxidants that also support healthy cell function and collagen production; as well as minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are crucial for DNA repair, hydration, and elasticity; plus vitamin E, essential for epidermal health and healing.
You can enjoy beets many ways—raw grated over a salad, pickled, steamed, roasted—but our new favorite way to get their multiple benefits this summer is as a simple, scrumptious dip. There are recipe variations, but the basics are the same. Here’s what we tried and loved.
3 medium-sized beets (½ pound), cooked and peeled
2 garlic cloves
The juice and zest of one lemon
4 tablespoons tahini
Small handful of pepitas (optional)
1 t cumin
1 t of balsamic vinegar
Three or four turns on the salt grinder
Pepper to taste
Remove the greens and scrub the beetroots clean. Cook the beets by your preferred method: steam, boil, or roast. Roasting will give them a richer flavor. Cook until they are easily penetrated with a knife or fork. Peel when cool. To save time, you can also buy beets already cooked and peeled in a vacuum pack or can.
Throw all the ingredients into a blender or food processor. If you’re using a blender, you may need to add a small amount of olive oil or water to loosen the mixture and facilitate the blending.
Serve with raw vegetables, pita, crackers, or whole grain chips.
Your hot pink beet hummus will keep in the fridge for about a week, but you will likely devour it long before then.
Super quick. Super healthy. Super delicious. The perfect beauty-boosting snack for summer.
Based on a recipe originally published on Simply Recipes.