Veganuary being the hype of the moment, a tasty hummus hits the spot perfectly. Hummus is probably THE food staple of vegans and vegetarians, being rich in plant-based proteins, vitamins, minerals and being readily available.
The beauty of hummus is that there are an endless variety of beans you can use (chickpeas, cannellini beans, lentils…), flavours you can add (pesto, beetroot, caramelised onions…) and even the toppings you can choose (lamb, nuts, cheese, grilled vegetables…)! I’ve created a simple ‘Roasted Red Pepper Hummus’, as red peppers are high in vitamin C and because they add a bit of sunshine to our plate which is very much needed at this time of the year.
The Pitta Crisps are a great way of scooping up your delicious hummus. Feel free to spice them up before baking with…:
- …a mix of the above!
Your Bones will Thank You!
This hummus can very much benefit your bone health as chickpeas, red peppers and sesame seeds (tahini) are packed with bone-healthy vitamins and minerals.
Adding chickpeas to your diet is beneficial for your bone health as they include minerals such as: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese – the latter is vital to a healthy bone structure and helps to build your bones. Eating chickpeas is also a fantastic choice if you are interested in cutting back on your meat intake as they are a good source of iron – a lot of vegans and vegetarians suffer from a deficit of this mineral. Vitamin C in the red pepper and lemon juice will enhance the iron absorption.
Chickpeas are rich both in protein and fibre which is great for: your gut health; lowering your cholesterol and regulating your blood sugar levels. Adding fibre rich foods is very important for our health. Besides reducing unhealthy cholesterol, it also helps counter food cravings and to regulate our appetite, making it it an excellent choice if you are keen on reaching a healthy weight…something we might all be keen on after the festive period. 😉
Red peppers are rich in vitamin C which is vital for the synthesis of collagen. Being the most abundant protein in our body, collagen provides our skin with structure and strengthens our bones – it, in effect, holds our body together. Funny enough, cooking red peppers increases their vitamin C amount. Their high antioxidant levels benefit our eye and heart health.
Sesame seeds are very high in calcium which are crucial for healthy bones and teeth. This mineral is essential both for building bones and maintaining them. Eating sesame seeds can also improve your skin thanks to its vitamin E: besides potentially reducing UV damage – being an antioxidant – it can also combat the effects of free radicals.
Red Pepper Hummus & Pitta Crisps
This Red Pepper Hummus is packed with goodness and is very easy to make. Eat it for lunch accompanied by a salad or as a snack. Feel free to change the quantity of the ingredients to your liking. The Pitta Crisps are a great for scooping up this delicious hummus.
- 1 big red pepper (or 2 small ones)
- 1 tin chickpeas
- 1 garlic clove – peeled
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 pitta breads
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pre-heat your oven to 220C / fan 200C. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Remove the stems, seeds and membranes from your red pepper. Quarter lengthwise. Lay skin side up on the baking tray. Roast for 15-20min until charred and collapsed. Remove from the oven, put in a bowl and cover with cling film for 15min.
- In the meantime, prepare the Pitta Crisps. Turn the oven down to 200C / fan 180C. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Take your pittas and cut them into triangles. Put the triangles into a bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and mix carefully with your hands – you don’t want to break them too much. Lay on the tray spacing them out. Bake in the oven for 12-14 min until golden – you could turn them over halfway but not necessary. Set aside.
- Continue with the hummus: Take your roasted peppers from the bowl and start peeling them. Add the peeled peppers and all the remaining ingredients to your food processor and blend until smooth. Add a tablespoon of cold water if you wish a smoother consistency. Serve in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and the pitta crisps.