It’s officially fall, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. For the next few months root vegetables & squashes are in season in Ontario, which is awesome because there’s so much you can do with them! You can roast them, steam them, or make soups & stews. And I recently discovered a new way to use sweet potatoes – in hummus! You just substitute a sweet potato for 1 of the cans of chick peas, and make the hummus like you normally would. The hummus takes on a sweet flavor, and you’re adding in all the goodness of a full sweet potato!
Similar to other orange root vegetables & squashes (ie. carrots, butternut squash, acorn squash, etc.); sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A in your body (vitamin A is important for healthy bones, teeth, eyes, skin & hair!). Beta-carotene is also a major antioxidant, which prevents against cancer & premature skin aging.
Sweet potatoes are also high in fiber & are considered a low glycemic food so they won’t spike your blood sugar. Foods that are high in fiber & low GI can help you manage your weight because they provide your body with energy for a longer period of time. This will keep you feeling satisfied longer unlike high GI foods (ie. regular white potatoes), which spike your blood sugar, and burn off right away; leaving you feeling hungry again soon after eating.
Sweet potatoes are also considered part of the “Clean 15”, which means it’s not necessary to buy them organic. Produce that is part of the “Clean 15” generally do not have high amounts of pesticides on them (unlike the “Dirty Dozen”).*
If you’re in charge of bringing an appetizer to Thanksgiving this year, try this healthy festive twist on regular hummus!
Sweet Potato Hummus
1 large sweet potato (cut into 1” cubes)
1 can of chick peas, drained & rinsed (15 or 19 oz)
1 clove garlic minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp almond butter (can also use tahini or peanut butter)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp fine sea salt
Fresh ground pepper (a few twists of the grinder)
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
Water (to thin out mixture if necessary)
Using a vegetable steamer, steam diced sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes or until soft & can be easily pierced with a fork.
Using a food processor, combine chick peas, garlic, oil, lemon juice, almond butter, cumin, and salt & pepper until well mixed.
Add in sweet potatoes, and process into the chick pea mixture. This is where you will have to add some water to thin out the mixture.
Add hot sauce or more spices to taste – enjoy!
Hummus will keep in the fridge for 1 week.
*It’s Organic Week in Canada! Check out these great resources, and start making informed purchase decisions when it comes to organic food!