Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another side of hummus

Everyone knows all about hummus, it has kind of blown up as a popular food item recently. There are a ton of variations: regular, black bean, spicy, sweet potato etc. The problem is that there have been rumors circulating that eating hummus and pita chips really isn't as healthy as one may think. In small doses, it is probably A LOT better than chips and fritos canned bean dip (Yuck), but eating it in large quantities can really add up. Seriously, its hummus and pita chips - I always consume that stuff in large quantities, I have been known to finish an entire bowl of hummus in an entire day (ok maybe it was a night - but who cares?).

Well, I am not necessarily going to offer a solution to this semi-healthy, semi-unhealthy deliciously addictive snack, but rather a little something different for those times when you need to give hummus a break because you literally ate your entire body weights worth of it.

Thanks to the beautiful blog Love & Lemons (probably one of my favorite blogs - EVER), I get to share a little treat called almond herb spread. In my opinion, this spread is a mix between hummus and pesto yet has none of the ingredients you would find in either mixture. This almond spread does have a couple weird ingredients in it, nutritional yeast and miso paste. The good news is that these two ingredients can go into a lot of other different things and the nutritional yeast can be stored in your pantry for a long time (it also has B-12 in it, which is quite beneficial, so it might be wise to incorporate it as much as you can).

Almond (herb) Spread  - from the lovely Love & Lemons

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 garlic clove chopped
  • 1/2 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup water
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
This is the recipe I followed. There are substitutions as suggested by Love & Lemons, as well as the addition of different herbs to make it officially almond herb spread. Frankly, I think it is just as amazing with or without the herbs. 

This stuff can go on socca (a gluten-free flatbread I have yet to create a post about), normal bread, pita chips and I am pretty tempted to try and incorporate it in a pasta or quinoa dish sometime in the near future. Like I mentioned before, I am not sure if this is necessarily more nutritional than hummus - but it sure does change it up a bit, deliciously so. 

Here are some other things you can make with nutrional yeast & miso paste:
  • Vegan caesar salad (nutritional yeast)
  • Miso-tahini dressing
  • Miso soup
  • Marinades (miso - can be mixed with soy sauce and other asian ingredients)
  • Nutritional yeast is also sometimes used to give a "cheese"type flavor
  • Popcorn topper (nutritional yeast)

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