The weeks running up to Christmas have been a bit hectic, work, Christmas parties and lunches got the better of me, so here comes a ‘Christmassy’ hummus recipe just on time for the holidays. Chestnut hummus is easy to make and a great way to use up any left over chestnuts from Christmas lunch or dinner.
They are harvested in October and are available from storage until January. Often you can find them as street food on Christmas markets, where they are roasted in open fires. They have such a lovely subtle nutty flavour and the warmth of the paper bag brings half frozen hands back to normal. You can easily roast them in the oven at home or boil and add them to mash. Such moorish little things they are. So, lucky if there are any left over!
I love chestnut hummus, the combination of chestnuts, chickpeas, garlic, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice is packed vitamin C, E, B1, B2, B6, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium, iron, copper, omega 9, folic acid and fiber, making this hummus a great energy boosting, cold fighting, vitamin and mineral dense dip.
You can of course just use chick peas in case you don’t have any chestnuts. I sprouted the chick peas, which turned them into small nutrient power houses. It takes a few days but the result is worth the wait. When choosing tahini, please try and find the unhulled darker version as this variety is more nutrient dense. Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and is also called sesame butter. Sesame seeds are a rich source of calcium, of which the majority is found in the hull, this is lost during the hulling process, so going for unhulled tahini makes sure we get all that goodness . Wishing you a HAPPY and relaxing CHRISTMAS with lots of delicious food and drinks !!
Chestnut & sprouted chickpea hummus- serves 4
2 cup of roasted & shelled chestnuts
4 tbsp + 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to garnish
1 clove of garlic
2-3 TBS tahini
1/2 cup of water
Sprouting chickpeas: soak 1 cups of dried chickpeas over night, drain and rinse in the morning. Leave in the bowl with no added water and repeat the rinsing process morning and evening, so they keep moist all the time, until they have sprouted. You will start to see little tails growing after the first day or two, on day 3 or 4 they should be ready. They not only make a delicious hummus, they are also a great addition to soups and salads or just eating as a snack. Once sprouted they keep in the fridge for about 3 days.
Fro dry roasting the chestnuts pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees C/gas mark 7. To prepare the nuts for baking, using a sharp small kitchen knife, carefully cut a little cross into the peel on the flat side, that way it will be easier to peel them later as the peel opens up during the roasting process. Lay out on baking paper in baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes. Shake the tray a few times during the process, so the nuts cook evenly. Remove the peel when they are still warm as the peel won´t come off as easy once they are cool. They are super delicious to eat just baked, so you have to be careful not to eat them all during the peeling process.
Put all ingredients in the food processor and blend until you get a smooth paste. Chestnuts are the only nuts that do not contain a lot of oil, so if the paste is a bit stiff, carefully add some more olive oil and water until the hummus has your preferred consistency. Season for taste with extra salt and cumin if needed. Serve with warm multi-seed bread and a drizzle of olive oil. Avocado, pumpkin seed oil and a pinch of salt works really well too. Chestnut hummus and pomegranate also make a very good combination. Enjoy!!