I've blogged before about my hummus recipe, made with the traditional chickpeas. But today I wanted to introduce you to a different version of hummus that's just as delicious and extremely healthy: Black Bean Hummus with Olives.
If you have visited this blog before, you know that I focus on foods that are healthy as well as delicious. While I don't obsess with fat and don't believe in cutting it out of meals altogether, I do try to ensure that the fats my family does consume, in limited quantities, are healthy, unsaturated ones. After all, our bodies do need some fat to function effectively and unsaturated fats are even believed to reduce cholesterol levels. Plus, who're we kidding, they add a zing to most foods.
One of the big advantages of a vegan lifestyle is, the fats you eat tend to be free of cholesterol and, usually, saturated fats, which are predominant in animal products.
This black bean hummus contains fats from both olive oil and olives, which as we know is a healthy fat and actually good for your heart. The black sesame seeds I use in the recipe also contribute heart-healthy fats known to reduce both cholesterol and blood pressure. Black sesame seeds can be found in most Indian and Asian grocery stores.
And black beans, of course, are super-nutritious with loads of cholesterol-reducing dietary fiber, and protein. What's more, they are packed with more antioxidants than any other bean.
This black bean hummus tastes great with some pita bread or even with crudites. Put it out at a party and I promise you, it will be gone before you know it!
Black Bean Hummus with Olives
3 cups cooked black beans (use canned or dried. If using dried, soak for several hours or overnight and then cook until tender. If using canned, drain and rinse thoroughly)
1 14-oz can black olives
1/4 cup black sesame seeds, powdered in a spice grinder (can substitute with white sesame seeds or 1/4 cup tahini)
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp red pepper like cayenne or paprika
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Put all ingredients except the salt and olive oil in a food processor. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the ingredients form a smooth paste.
Add some water if the mixture is too thick. Add salt to taste.
Remove to a bowl.
Sprinkle with some red pepper and a few drops of olive oil as a garnish.
Serve with pita bread or crudites.