There are a number of reasons why eating the rainbow—i.e., colorful foods—is beneficial to your health. With a variety of fresh and seasonal produce, your body takes in the kind of nutrients it needs to feel optimal in its environment. Think about what kinds of food you crave in the winter—creamy, maybe brownish, foods that taste like comfort and warmth. In the spring, we find near-translucent baby greens and alliums, which help our bodies shed anything that’s built up in winter. In summer, we long for fresh, juicy fruits and crunchy vegetables that require little effort to prepare, balancing nature’s heat and intensity.
But we don’t just eat with our mouths and stomachs. All our senses are involved in proper digestion, making color a kind of nutrient for the body, mind, and spirit. Prettier foods taste better—which is why we all love scrolling through social media for inspiration from well-plated, styled dishes. Nature has the upper hand when it comes to giving us eye-candy, though, especially in the form of one of my favorite ingredients: beets. Whether or not you love pink as much as I do, beets are among the happiest foods I know. They’re sweet like candy, filling, and leave their mark on your hands and your pee so you never forget how much you enjoyed them, even days later. Plus, they’re incredibly nourishing for your liver and blood (like all red foods), which is helpful during and right after menstruation, in the spring seasonal transition, or anytime you’re feeling like stress is creating a lot of toxins in your body that needs help being processed.
I chose white beans for the base of this hummus for a creamier texture and a somewhat lighter flavor than chickpeas, but if that’s what you’ve got on hand it will work just as well. Just make sure that you’ve cooked your beans really well so they’re almost mush (here’s a guide, though I left out the kombu in this recipe since I didn’t want the flavors to conflict).
This recipe makes a modest amount, especially if you eat hummus like I do—more like a main than a dip. That means if you’re serving it for a party, or just want more, I recommend doubling the recipe.
Beet and White Bean Hummus with Sage
- 1 cup red beets (1-2 medium)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup white beans (cooked or canned)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 3 teaspoons thyme
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup water (from beans if making them yourself)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut your beets in half and place face-down on a baking sheet with the whole garlic cloves. Drizzle with the olive oil, cover the pan with tin foil, then roast for 45 minutes or until the beets are very soft when pierced with a knife. Let cool slightly before chopping into smaller pieces.
- Add the tahini, garlic, and lemon juice to a food processor or blender. Blitz until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add the beans, beets, and remaining spices. Blitz to combine, about 5-8 minutes, adding the water once the mixture is roughly chopped to help with the blending process. Taste to adjust the spices.
- To serve, top with additional chopped sage, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil as desired.