This recipe is inspired by my trip to Denmark.  This last summer, I went to Copenhagen to visit my sister.  On one particularly slightly hot day in August, I found myself craving fresh clean food and a healthy smoothie.  My sister took me to one of her favorite cafes, Botaniq.  There, I had a wonderful salad that I will reveal later in another recipe :), a Lavender infused smoothie, and a humus that was made with beets and sprouted chickpeas that was divine.

Today was a very nice temperate sunny day in Seattle; very rare for this time of year because we're usually slightly chilly, grey, and rainy for roughly 6 mos. out of the year.  Anyway, while I was enjoying the resonable winter temperatures and the sun, I found myself reminiscing about my summer and longing for the colors of spring that are still a few months off. I was craving the beautiful hues of flowers, the freshness of spring blossoms, and longing for some invigorating color in my life, then I remembered this dish.  It's a beautiful pinkish red color with an earthy, slightly sweet flavor.  Even better, it's healthy, high in protein, and made with a wonderful, often underused winter root vegetable that is full of vitamins A, B, C, minerals, and phytonutrients.  The beet pairs well with the chickpeas, which are sprouted to increase enzymes and protein.  Together, they create a harmony of flavor and color that is reminiscent of three seasons combined.  This dish is perfect to boost your mood, bring back memories of summer, and still support your New Year's resolutions during these midwinter grey days.  If I ever achieve my dream retirement and am able to open my cafe, this will definitely be a dish I serve.  Now for the recipe.

For starters, you need to

sprout your chickpeas.

  This is done by repeatedly rinsing and soaking your chickpeas until they start to grow slightly and tails appear.  This can take roughly 48 hrs, but it's worth the wait for the added nutritional benefits you get.  If you want instant gratification, just use canned organic chickpeas that are thoroughly rinsed.

Recipe  Ingredients:

  • 2 large roasted organic beets, divided
  • 2 cups soaked, sprouted organic chickpeas, cooked (You'll start with a 1/2 cup of dried chickpeas if you followed the link above, but the final measurement may very slightly depending on how much your chickpeas grew when you soaked them).
  • zest of 1-1/2 large lemons (preferably organic to prevent pesticide residue)
  • juice of 1-1/2 large lemons, seeds removed
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 c tahini
  • 1/4 c + 1 TBS olive oil, divided
  • salt to taste
  • 1 TBS finely chopped organic cilantro, garnish

Instructions:

Rinse and scrub beets to remove dirt.  Cut off greens removing only the very top part of the beet**.  Cut beets in half, place beets in a pan, drizzle with 1 TBS olive oil and roast beets at 375 degrees until tender (about 30-45 min). Place cooked beets in a bowl in the refrigerator until they cool to room temperature. Peel beets once cooled.  This should be fairly easy after they are cooked.  Set aside 1/2 a peeled beet to chop and use as a garnish.

At the same time you are cooking the beets, cook sprouted chickpeas by placing them in a large sauce pan filled with about 3-4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover pan with lid, reduce heat to medium and cook until tender (about 45 min). Add water as necessary to keep chickpeas covered. Once tender, drain chickpeas, rinse and place in a bowl in the fridge to cool to room temperature.

When beets and chickpeas have cooled, place all ingredients, except remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, cilantro, and 1/2 beet in a food processor. Pulse the processor making sure to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.  Process until all ingredients are combined, drizzling in olive oil as you puree. If it's too dry, feel free to add a little extra oil until smooth.  Once pureed, scrape your roasted beet hummus into a dish; sprinkle on your cilantro garnish and top with the remaining chopped beet. Serve with fresh sliced cucumbers and/or other veges, whole grain seeded thinly sliced baguette, pita bread, or whatever your heart desires.  In Copenhagen, they served this dish alone as a salad, but I prefer to use veges as my humus carrier for the added fiber, vitamins, and nutrients.

Note:

**Beet greens are edible. You can use your beet greens in fresh juices, smoothies, soups, or salads.