Who says hummus has to be made from chickpeas?? You can only create as many flavors as your imagination can come up with! I needed orange food to serve during a Denver Broncos viewing soiree, so I came up with a red lentil and roasted carrot concoction for the festive occasion. My husband is a pretty picky eater, but he actually ate this with the freshly made whole wheat pita chips! Not only did the Broncos win, but I scored a victory too!
Lentils are not only super cheap, but they are incredibly healthy with fiber, protein, and B vitamins, just to name a few of their nutrients. The carrots add beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A, helping to keep your eyes and immune system healthy. By roasting the carrots instead of eating them raw, their beta carotene levels are increased.
Red lentils are different from brown lentils in that they don’t have a skin, and therefore, break down completely when cooked. So don’t be surprised when you cook a pot and they become mush! That’s what they’re supposed to look like. You typically see these types of lentils in Indian cuisine, often paired with the flavor of curry. They are fantastic as a base for dips, soups and stews. Since they have a mild taste, I’d love to try blending them up in a smoothie.
Next time you clean out the pantry and find a few bags of different beans and lentils, experiment to come up with a new flavor of hummus! Combinations that would work well are black bean + smoked paprika, pinto bean + cilantro, and white bean + rosemary. Be sure to make some bean or lentil hummus for your next get together and see what creative flavor combos you can come up with!
This colorful, alternative hummus pairs well with freshly baked whole wheat pita chips.
- 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and roughly cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium size garlic clove, peeled
- 2 TBSP tahini
- 2 TBSP + 2 tsp lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp honey
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place carrot chunks on a sheet pan. Pour the 1 tsp of oil over the carrots and toss to evenly coat with the oil. Roast until tender, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
- While carrots are roasting, place water and lentils in a medium size saucepan. Bring water to a boil. As soon as water comes to a boil, immediately reduce heat to low. Simmer until lentils have absorbed all of the water, about 7-10 minutes. Stir often during the last few minutes, as lentils will be very thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once lentils and carrots are cool, add them to the bowl of a food processor, along with the garlic. Process for about 10 seconds, then add the rest of the ingredients. Add more lemon and/or salt to taste if necessary.
- Scrape hummus into a serving dish and garnish with chopped cilantro.