Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Snacking. It’s everyone’s worst enemy. Katie and I are guilty of it all the time. It mostly comes in the form of Miss Vickies – they are pretty hard to resist. Ever since we started running, we’ve been trying to eat better too. That applies to snacking as well. While giving up Miss Vickies is scientifically impossible, we’ve started to be healthier with most of our snacks. While trading in candy and chips for fruits and veggies isn’t always easy, a good healthy dip like a hummus will always help.

So now we’re addicted to hummus. We buy it every week. Spicy hummus, garlic hummus, sun dried tomato hummus – there are so many delicious variations. So naturally, we said to ourselves “Well, why don’t we just make our own?” Of course.

It’s pretty easy to make. The only difficult part will be finding tahini. Tahini is a Middle Eastern paste made ground sesame seeds. While most people try to omit it from their hummus when they can’t find it in the store, I’ve found that it is pretty essential for both taste and consistency. Try going to a specialty store, or middle eastern grocery store. I am lucky enough to only live half a block away from Boushey’s in Centretown, so I was able to find it with ease.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
2 red bell peppers
4 cloves garlic
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp pine nuts, for garnish
Sprinkle of crushed red chili flakes, for garnish 

Begin by preheating your oven to 350F. Peel 4 cloves of garlic, and set aside. Then cut red peppers into 1 inch chunks. Place red pepper and garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the peppers and garlic, and roast for another ten minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel the blackened skin off of the peppers.

Add the peppers, garlic, chickpeas, tahini, remaining olive oil, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and lemon juice to a blender or food processpor. Blend until smooth. Garnish with crushed red chili flakes, pine nuts and drizzle with olive oil.

Serve with warm pita or fresh veggies.

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