Party tables filled with sour cream and cheesy dips, saucy meatballs, and salty nuts will make room for something with a sweet side that has a little secret. Believe it or not, the ever-popular hummus can be made into a sweet, chocolaty dip. With all the goodies shared this time of year, a fresh taste of fruit and sweet dip with bonus health benefits will be a welcome addition to the table. Try serving this with sliced apples and whole strawberries for dipping without telling anyone that it’s made with beans. They may think it is a homemade Nutella and never be the wiser, says Twin Cities chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell, who created this recipe for Real Food. After their first few helpings, then let them in on the secret. They will appreciate that it is packed with protein, fiber and even some calcium to help us feel healthier while dipping. Also try this sweet hummus scooped up with pitas or bagels for lunch or a snack. This will keep, tightly covered, for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
So whether you are looking for a sweet snack while watching your annual must-see holiday movies, hosting a get-together or asking, “What can I bring?” on the many rounds of merry-making this season, you can see the sweet side of hummus.
Makes 4 servings (2 cups)
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained, skinned if desired (See Cook’s Note)
¼ cup almond butter
½ cup cocoa
½ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup water
1. Place the drained chickpeas, almond butter, cocoa and brown sugar in the food processor bowl. Process until a smooth paste is produced, scraping down once or twice to make sure all the beans are puréed.
2. Add the salt and vanilla. Turn on the machine and pour the water in through the feed tube with the machine running.
Cook’s Note: One trick that will make your homemade hummus just as velvety smooth as the ones you buy at the store is to skin the chickpeas. Whether you are using home-cooked or canned chickpeas, there is a thin, translucent skin wrapped around the soft center. To remove the skins, place the drained chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Use your fingers to knead and squeeze the beans and pop off the skins without crushing the beans. The skins will float to the surface, where you can skim them off. Discard the skins, and then drain the skinned chickpeas again.
Nutrition info Chocolate Hummus (per serving): CALORIES 287 (101 From Fat); FAT 12g (Sat. 2g); CHOL 0mg; SODIUM 506mg; CARB 42g; FIBER 10g; PROTEIN 10g