Roasted carrot hummus
There are lots of obvious benefits to homemade hummus. It's quick, easy, and cheap, for example. Better yet, you have ultimate control you have over what goes in, allowing you to limit fats, oils, and preservatives at no expense to taste. Taking charge of the flavors themselves--that's a big deal. How splendid to customize it to fit the whole family-- not too spicy or too salty. And, you get to experiment with all kinds of simple and tantalizing but less common addends, like the robust flavor of subtly sweet yet savory roasted carrots.
But there is one unexpected bonus to homemade hummus that stands out as a playful surprise, and that actually is play. For now it's the main hook that keeps me pairing the blender and garbanzo beans as often as I do.
If there is one thing that I have to admit to giving store-bought hummus an edge, it's the tantalizingly smooth creaminess that comes uniquely in packaged form. It's certainly worth a container here and there, particularly if it's a brand I feel all-around good about, like HOPE. On the other hand, if mealtimes might involve a little food play, the chunkier, grippier homemade texture is the surefire way to go.
Most people who know Chef F and I know, we love playing with food. We do it all the time, although certain times of year are more naturally well-disposed. Holidays, from Halloween to Hairball Awareness Day (yep, that's a thing). Some weeks more of a nudge is needed to inspire creative inspiration. Luckily such nudges are typically accessible. Recently, a few things came together to kick start a fresh new dimension of food play at our house. One, I need to tell you about separately because it deserves it's own post (My Munch Bug-Melanie Potock/video shoot). Another is the delight of a snowy day and Tinker Toys.
Friends back east have had their fill of winter. Here in Longmont, we've been a little frustrated, resorting to snow angels in snow dustings and sledding on slippery grass--not what anyone imagines when thinking "Colorado winter". But this past weekend, finally we got snow! Real, blowy, at points white-out quality snow that glistened for days. Of course, it came with such arctic temperatures we couldn't really get outside, but we have so enjoyed it. The first day, monitoring those drifting, winsome flakes made every indoor activities come alive with the same sort of renewed sparkle. Tinker Toys beckoned to be transformed into a castle, and things were going so well, until we reached a plateau. Not enough pieces to live up to the vision, leaving a flatness that became near annoyance because of hunger with approaching lunch. And then, in a moment of shared epiphany, Chef F and I came up with a solution! Edible Tinker Toys for lunch! It made such perfect sense. How could we have resisted such 3-D magnificence for so long, in all our days of edible art and stacked sculpture? Toothpicks, carrot hummus and assorted fruits and vegetables=masterpiece.
We're so lucky to have a veggiesaurus in the house. All the exposure and food play has got to have played a role in that--but still, we know we got lucky. I don't know what I'll do when Chef F outgrows making edible collages with his mama. Probably find quiet corners of time to wistfully turn a pineapple into a peacock by myself. Instead of the crazy cat lady I'll be some kind of flipped out fruity food lady. But that's later. We'll deal with that another day. Today, I'm going to milk the most out of edible castles for lunch.
Roasted carrot hummus
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 garlic glove, minced
- Good shake to taste (about 1/4-1/2 tsp) each: paprika, chili powder, cumin
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel and cut carrots into roughly 1-inch pieces. Place on a roasting pan and coat with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes, turning midway.
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, adding water if needed to reach desired consistency. Add additional seasoning to taste.