Bean-Free Hummus

If you are on the Paleo/Whole30/grain-free train, you are probably on the legume-free track as well. Legumes can be an irritant to the system so some people choose to avoid them for this reason, including me. Let’s be real, the worst part of it is no peanut butter. Since making the choice a couple weeks ago to take the 30 Day Vegan Challenge, my diet became double complicated.

Hummus and veggies is an obvious vegan choice, but is not Whole30 friendly since it is made with chickpeas. So I scoured pinterest for you (you’re welcome) and came up with a lot of fun and easy alternatives. Try substituting cooked carrot, beet, sweet pea, eggplant, or pumpkin for the chickpeas. The result is yumminess. Below is a recipe for golden beet hummus which was filling, addicting and guilt-free.

Gorgeous vegan breakfast

I’d like to share with you a little about my choice to go vegan. For many years, I stuck to a mostly vegetarian diet eventually sliding back into meat eating because I felt good about the animal products I could get where I lived in Hawaii. On the islands it’s fairly painless to get grass-fed beef, wild boar, sustainably harvested fish and eggs from happy chickens. Now that I’ve made a home in Colorado, it’s trickier. Reasonably sustainable meat exists, but oh boy is it expensive. Plus in light of recent facts I’ve learned about how meat, dairy, and eggs are farmed, I just plain got turned off.

Because I’m not personally comfortable with the animal products within my price range, I’m choosing not to buy those items. It’s kind of like when you choose to recycle a plastic bottle instead of throwing it away, or choosing organic tomatoes versus chemically treated ones, or turning the water off when brushing your teeth. We all make little choices all day long that impact our world and each other. Since eating is something we make choices about at least three times a day, I felt that my food choices could potentially make a greater impact than anything else in my everyday life.

The 30 Day Vegan Challenge has helped guide me on changing my diet safely (I just bought the book, but there are more options on the website). Colleen Patrick-Goudreau also has a pretty decent podcast that I’ve tuned into for over a year now. At this stage, I’m gathering information and learning as much as I can. I’m also joyfully eating an abundance of beautiful plant-based foods, including this hummus.

Golden beet hummus, packed along on a recent hike in the Rockies

Golden Beet Hummus
Serves about 4

3-4 golden beets
1/2 head garlic
1/3 – 1/2 cup water, divided
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 tsp cumin
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Wrap whole beets and unpeeled garlic in foil. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until beets are soft and can be pierced through with a fork. Allow to cool and peel both garlic and beets. I like to just squeeze the roasted garlic, it comes out of the casing pretty easily that way.

In a food processor or blender, add beets, garlic, a few table tablespoons of water, oil, tahini, cumin and salt. Blend until smooth, adding a little water at a time until hummus is to desired thickness.

Serve with carrots, cucumber, crackers, pita or whatever you like. Enjoy!

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