Thursday, November 8, 2012

Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus

I love hummus.  Whether it's made with chickpeas, black beans, or lentils, it's a true staple in my kitchen.  I make it 2-3 times a week, and you'll just have to trust me when I say that standing in front of my food processor and rummaging through my head for ideas on how I will yet again recreate hummus is actually really exciting.  Because aside from how delicious and nutritious it is, the best thing about hummus is its versatility.  So many ways to take one basic hummus recipe and endlessly reinvent it, from seasonings and spices, to the type of bean, to adding new ingredients.  [insert sound of mental fireworks]

Which brings us to today's post for chipotle pumpkin hummus.  My days off are often cooking/baking marathons as I do my best to create enough food to sustain me until my next day off and also create recipes for the blog.  I had leftover pumpkin puree from another recipe, and as hummus was next on my   to-do list, I thought, "Why not?"  And voila, food for me and food for the blog coincide. [fist pump]

It's a wonderful variation on hummus that's a bit spicy and a touch sweet to take advantage of both the season's offerings and to please all the pumpkin-eaters at your upcoming Thanksgiving and Holiday parties.

Served alongside beautiful local & organic vegetables. [sigh]

Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus
Gluten-Free & Vegan

Active Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: none
"Cooking" Time: less than 5 minutes
Yield: Approximately 2 cups

(1) 26 oz can garbanzo beans
1/2 c (4 1/2 oz) canned pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 teaspoons jalapeno, sliced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

5-7 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 c canning liquid reserved from garbanzo beans

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1.  Drain garbanzo beans, setting aside at least 1/3 cup of the canning liquid.
2.  Combine all ingredients except extra virgin olive oil.  The jalapeno, as indicated is optional, but if your goal is to moderate the heat but not the flavor, you can always choose to remove the ribs and/or seeds or just simply use less.  My tip: Always taste your jalapeno first before adding to a recipe, as not all are created equal.  
3.  Pulse a few times to just combine the ingredients and then run continuously for a few moments until you have a roughly smooth texture. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides as necessary.
4.  Slowly drizzle the olive oil through the food chute as you run the processor continuously.  Take your time with this step: it's important to achieving the palate-pleasing creaminess that hummus is known for.  
5.  Transfer to a container and chill to allow flavors to come together.  Flavors will be best the next day, so try to avoid making any seasoning decisions based on a first taste.  Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a dash of chipotle and/or cinnamon before serving.
6.  Note: if using a blender in place of a food processor, results may be best if you halve your ingredients and make this recipe in two separate batches.

I love the glints of emerald green.

Not too smooth, not too chunky: Just right. 

This is an ideal, make-ahead-of-time contribution to a potluck or party, and will definitely "bring the foodies to the yard."  From the richness of the pumpkin, the loving bite of jalapeno, to the billowing warmth of chipotle and cinnamon, it's quite an enjoyable ride for the tastebuds that will have you and those with whom you share it coming back for more.  And if you don't happen to have pumpkin, but you have sweet potato, trust that it's an amazing substitute.  

Thank you to my good friend and colleague, Chris, for encouraging me to share this recipe.  I've been getting a lot more requests lately, particularly as we head into 'that time of year' which can leave a lot of us canaries anxious and unsure about eating options at parties and gatherings.  So if there's anything you'd like to see here, be it pumpkin pie to stuffed cabbage rolls, just let me know.  

If I can help you feel more in the mood to celebrate and dig in rather than twiddle your thumbs and push food around your plate, I would love it.  And if it also means helping you introduce others to the delicious wonders of clean, healthy, creative eating, I would love that, too.  

After all, the holidays are about sharing, right?

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