Hallelujah! All of this week, I have been running in sub-70 degree weather! I think I may have even felt a cool breeze blowing this morning :).This may not be revolutionary to those of you living in New England, the Dakotas, or Alaska, but here in the South, the first autumn temperature drop feels like a minor miracle.
So with fall newly on my mind, I decided to break out the pumpkin to make this vegetable-packed, lighter, bean-free version of hummus. Cheap, fast, easy, uber-healthy, and most of all, delicious, it also happens to be free of beans and has only XX calories per serving (who eats a tablespoon or two of hummus at a time, anyway?)
I love pumpkin pie, but I am not keen on pumpkin pie spice being added willy nilly to everything from coffee to energy bar to yogurt. So I went savory with this spread, avoiding the pumpkin pie spice question altogether. Instead, in went cumin, garlic and smoked paprika. Yum!
For deep, nutty, flavor, I opted for toasted walnuts in lieu of the usual tahini–it’s divine! Pecans would be pretty smashing, too. Just be sure to keep blending until everything is perfectly smooth.
Now, for the the elephant in the room, or, more precisely, the hummus: zucchini!
I know that it may sound odd, but if you think of zucchini as a lighter, fresh, but still neutral, substitute for chickpeas or white beans, it makes sense (or perhaps that’s my own irrational reasoning!). But the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and this hummus tastes incredible, so zucchini on!
And it case it needs saying, it is a perfect midnight nosh (when you cannot put down a favorite read–i.e., Stieg Larsson mysteries!!!) or for lunch the following day.
- 1 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup peeled, coarsely chopped zucchini
- ⅓ cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 2 small cloves garlic, peeled OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika (pimento)
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- Place all of the ingredients in food processor. Process until velvety smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl periodically. Adjust seasonings (e.g., garlic, lemon, spices) according to taste.