Things are about to get real. Real green, that is. I thought it might be fun to feature some of my greenest creations over the next week, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Starting with this gorgeous, bright-hued hummus.
There’s just something about this dip that makes me feel like spring. It doesn’t hurt that it’s been sunny with temps inching towards 50 degrees Farenheit the last few days (and possibly 60 by Friday. Woohoo!). Around Michigan, 50 degree temps in early spring translates to people driving around with their windows down and (some crazy) folks donning their shorts and capris. I’m just excited to wear a lighter jacket. Anyway, about this hummus.
I’d been wanting to add greens to my hummus for quite some time. Not only does it add an extra punch of nutrients, but it also just looks so fresh and fun! I love making my own hummus. It’s really easy to do, and it’s cheaper than buying it at the store. It’s a healthy snack, too, filled with all sorts of good-for-you ingredients that will get you glowing from the inside out. Let’s take a looky-loo at some of the benefits in this eye-popping Glowing Green Hummus…
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
Chickpeas are a fantastic food for your overall health. They are a great source of fiber, and can help reduce appetite. In one study, participants reported eating fewer packaged snacks and less food overall, when chickpeas were part of their diet. Participants in another study were found to have better control of blood sugar and insulin secretion after just one week of eating 1/3 cup of chickpeas each day. Other studies have shown that including chickpeas in your diet will help your body regulate blood fat more effectively, including lowering LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. [source]
Chickpeas are a fabulous beauty food, too. Chickpeas are great plant source of protein, as well as many minerals, including manganese, copper, iron, and zinc. They’re also an excellent source of the B vitamin, folate. Chickpeas are also a surprising source of antioxidants. Along with protein, these vitamins and minerals are important for growing strong, thick, lustrous hair. [source]
We put it in our cold pressed juices, smoothies, and load it into our salad bowls. Now it’s time to try adding some greens to your hummus! Spinach is one of the highest ranking nutrient-rich foods you can find. It is a powerhouse in terms of concentrated vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Flavenoid compounds in spinach make it an especially important food for decreasing cancer risk, and reducing inflammation in the body. Spinach is rich in many other antioxidants, including A, C, and E, as well as zinc and selenium. Not only are these good for preventing blood vessel damage from free radicals (leading to atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure), they also help keep our skin looking young and supple. Carotenoids in spinach are great for keeping our eyes healthy as we age, and are vital for our skin’s healthy glow. Furthermore, spinach is chock-full of vitamin K, a key nutrient for strong, healthy bones. It is also another great source of plant-based iron, which, as we saw above, is important for growing beautiful hair. Spinach is the epitome of “nutrient-dense.” It offers a plethora of nutrients, for very little calories.
The wonders of garlic have been appreciated since ancient times. Garlic is said to cure an impressive and diverse list of ailments, including coughs, infections, snake bites, removing splinters, athletes foot, preventing mosquito bites, and pesky vampire problems. It is also a superstar in terms of at-home beauty remedies. Hair loss? Rub some garlic on your scalp. Got a zit? Rub a sliced garlic clove on that bad boy. Suffering from psoriasis? Again, garlic might be your answer. Eating garlic can boost your immune system, protect your cardiovascular system, and reduce inflammation that can lead to many diseases. Beauty-wise, garlic is brimming with sulphur compounds and antioxidants, beneficial for maintaining smooth and firm skin.
Tahini (sesame seed paste)
Tahini, or ground sesame seeds, are a rich source of minerals and vitamins, including copper, manganese, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and zinc. I like to use tahini made from un-hulled sesame seeds, which is slightly darker and more bitter, but it contains 60% more calcium. There is a question as to just how much more calcium our bodies really get, but I figure it’s at least a bit more than hulled sesame paste. No matter what variety you choose, you’ll enjoy many health benefits of this tiny seed. Copper is especially abundant in sesame seeds, and it is helpful for inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis [source]. This nutrient also supports enzymes needed for building collagen and elastin, important for strong and flexible bones, joints, blood vessels, and yes, younger and firmer skin. Sesame seeds are also a good source of zinc, which has been linked to clearer skin and less acne.
Artichokes are an excellent source of potassium, important for heart health. They are also rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, which may reduce the occurrence of strokes, cancer, and cardiovasular disease. Artichokes contain a fair amount of vitamin C and they are a good source of fiber. Although maybe not as nutrient-rich as fresh artichoke, I like to keep a jar of marinated artichoke hearts on hand for adding to pizza, salads, and now, this hummus!
If you are a hummus fan, I encourage you to try this bright Glowing Green Hummus with Artichoke and Spinach. Whether you enjoy it on crisp, raw veggies or whole grain crackers, it is even more delicious than the original, in my
hummus hummble opinion 🙂
Glowing Green Hummus with Artichoke and Spinach
- 2 cups packed fresh spinach
- 1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas/garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup of jarred marinated artichoke hearts
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- juice from half of a large lemon
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 1 Tbsp olive oil or water
- 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp of pink himalayan or sea salt
1. Add the spinach, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil to your food processor and processor until spinach is finely chopped/ground.
2. Now, add the rest of the ingredients and process again until it’s completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Add an exrta tablespoon of water or olive oil if needed to get it as smooth as possible. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.