Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eggplant, Red Pepper Hummus Spectacular

Simple hummus is an amazing source of protein, folate and iron.  When you add in the eggplant and red bell pepper, you are also getting a good dose of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, vitamin A and vitamin B6.

Hummus is incredibly versatile. It can be used as a dip with veggies or pretzels - perfect for after school.  It's also delicious as a spread on sandwiches or pita bread and is a great on-the-go snack.  Hummus will stay fresh in an airtight container, out of refrigeration for about 2 hours.

This recipe is appropriate for babies 10-12 months and up, toddlers, big kids and adults.  Always make sure the consistency of your baby's food is one she can handle. As I experiment with my own little one, its important to make sure all is blended to perfection.

What you'll need:
1 eggplant - washed and cut in half lengthwise
1 red bell pepper - washed, cut in half lengthwise with stem and seeds removed
1 1/2 - 2 cups of cooked chickpeas - if using canned, rinse and drain chickpeas, also be sure the can does not contain BPA

1/2 teaspoon of kosher or coarse sea salt
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste) or extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon) 
2 tablespoons of purified water
1-2 cloves of garlic (optional)

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
*Place eggplant and pepper cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes, until both are soft and cooked all the way through.
*Scoop eggplant out of the skin and remove as many seeds as you can.  They are in bunches and can be removed fairly easily.  Don't worry if you can't get them all, as the seeds are tender and edible.
*Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.  Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spoon or spatula in between pulses and add extra water while processing, if needed to develop a smooth consistency.
*Serve or store
*Hummus can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

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