Roasted Red Pepper and Paprika Hummus

I have to admit that my hummus obsession has got slightly out of hand, I honestly can’t remember a single day in the last month which didn’t contain some variety of hummus! I’ve tried so many variations recently and have a few new favourites but this Roasted Red Pepper and Paprika recipe absolutely wins. I even like it more than normal hummus now, which is a pretty big deal. The roasted pepper just brings such a rich, deep almost sweet flavour to it while the paprika and chilli add a beautiful spice that literally means each bite sings in your mouth. It’s just amazing! Of course you still have the classic super creamy texture of normal hummus, as well as the subtle hints of tangy lemon, smooth tahini and peppery cumin so you won’t be loosing any of your favourite hummus elements, just adding to their awesomeness with a few new additions!

Hummus is an awesome addition to any meal too, not just because it tastes like heaven, but also because it’s really good for you. I feel that there’s a misconception that it’s not that healthy, and when it comes to store brought ones that is usually the case as they’re filled with funny additives, vegetable oils and a few preservatives – I even saw one recently where the first three ingredients were modified maize starch, cream and sugar, which was so bizarre, since when do you add cream to hummus?! But if you make your own hummus then it’s super healthy (and also a lot less expensive!) Part of the reason that I love it so much is that chickpeas are a fantastic source of vegetarian protein so you’ll get lots of energy from it. They’re also filled with tons of fibre, which we all really need for a healthy, efficient digestive system. The more fibre something has the slower it’s realised into your blood stream too, which means your blood sugar stays under control and you stay full and energised for longer. There’s even a unique type of fibre in chickpeas that has also been shown to increase blood fat regulation and lower cholesterol, as well as reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. So there really are a lot of reasons to eat lots of delicious hummus! I do eat lots of it with a spoon, often straight from the processor, but my other (more conventional) favourite way to eat it is in a rainbow bowl of veggies and quinoa, using it as a deliciously creamy dressing!

Makes one big bowl

– 2½ cups of chickpeas (either canned and pre-soaked, or soak your own overnight and then boil for about thirty minutes) (425g)

– 1 large red pepper

– 1/2 a jalapeño pepper (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

– 3 tablespoons of olive oil

– 1/4 of a cup of water (60ml)

– 1 tablespoon of tahini

– 2 teaspoons of paprika

– 1 teaspoon of cumin

– 2 lemons

– salt

Start by slicing the red pepper into about eight long strips, discarding the seedy centre part. Then place these strips in a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes at 180C.

While the pepper bakes make the rest of the hummus. First squeeze the lemons then place the lemon juice and all of the other ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, this should take 3-4 minutes. The stronger your processor the smoother and creamier the hummus will be.

Once the peppers have cooked for ten minutes and are starting to turn ever so slightly brown at the edges remove them from the oven, allow them to cool for a couple of minutes and then add them to the food processor with the hummus and blend until smooth. Finally serve and enjoy!