Tasty Tuesdays – Roasted Garlic & Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

Hummus is a delicious snack that is sufficiently satisfying and nutritious.  There are many, many variations of hummus and this particular combination is my favourite…for now.  I have added roasted garlic and sun-dried tomatoes which are certainly not traditional ingredients but taste delicious nonetheless.  It’s easy to prepare and lasts for a few days in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 19oz liq can chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 7 green olives
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • To roast the garlic first cut the tips off of the garlic ends.  Wrap in aluminum foil with a little olive oil and place in the oven for approximately 40 minutes.  Remove the skins after roasting.
  • In a blender, combine roasted garlic, rinsed and drained chickpeas, tahini, juice of one lemon, sun-dried tomatoes, green olives, salt, pepper and paprika.
  • While blending, slowly add the olive oil until your desired consistency.
  • Add a handful of washed parsley and blend for another minute.

Interesting Facts

Tahini is a main ingredient in all hummus recipes and adds a nutty taste and smooth texture.  This paste is made from ground sesame seeds and is considered to be one of the oldest condiments (Anilakumar, 2010).  The first recorded documentation of this seed dates back 4000 years to Assyrian texts which describe preparation of sesame seed wines for their gods (Parry, 1955).  In the early days of sesame seed cultivation, the oil from the seeds was highly prized because of its year round availability and strong resistance to becoming rancid (Moazzami, 2006).  This wonderful preservation quality is due to the unique number of lignans such as sesamolin and sesamol that are found within the sesame seed (Obiajunwa, et al., 2005).  These antioxidants have been studied for their positive effects on lowering cholesterol levels (Matsumura, 2004) and blood pressure (Noguchi, et al., 2001).  Interestingly, these same antioxidants have a practical use in vegetable oil products such as margarine because they can dramatically increase shelf life (Brar, 1982).  Sesame seeds also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases (Harris, et al., 2009) and aid with proper brain development and function (Innis, 2012).  Although these seeds are very tiny they have an abundance of minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and zinc (USDA, 2012).  These minerals are essential for normal body processes such as reducing inflammation, building bones and the prevention of osteoporosis.  As well, these nutrients are vital for supporting a healthy vascular system by improving blood vessel strength and elasticity (Hyun, et al., 2004).  In summary, this small seed contains heart healthy fats and many essential minerals necessary for a healthy body.  The classic ‘open sesame’ phrase from Arabian Nights may have opened the door to a wealth of riches but what Ali Baba didn’t know was that it also lead to a wealth of health!

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