Paleo Zucchini “Hummus”

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Paleo Zucchini “Hummus”
From Paleo Cupboard

Generally speaking, I try to accept the Whole30 for what it is and avoid attempting to make paleo versions of my favorite non-paleo foods.  It’s just 30 days, so most stuff can wait.  But sometimes you’re faced with cooking for non-Whole30ers, and they are expecting what they’ve come to know as “normal” food.  For example, it seems like everyone I know doing a January Whole30 belongs to a monthly book club.  If you’ve never been to a book club, just imagine 5-10 ravenous, wine-drunk girls that came straight from work and are likely starving.  And if there’s one thing ravenous girls love, it’s hummus.  (Actually, it’s taco dip,  but I’m not even going to attempt a sad-sack taco dip without beans or cheese!).  As it turns out, much like small children, we just like to dip stuff into other stuff.  And since hummus is one of the few dips that is just as good with veggie dippers as it is with grain-based chips, it seems like the perfect solution – minus those pesky chickpeas.  So out of curiosity, I did some Googling and discovered that there’s a myriad of “paleo hummus” recipes out there!  This one, which uses zucchini in place of chickpeas, received rave reviews so I gave it a whirl.  And honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been as shocked as when as I tasted this dip.  It tastes…exactly like hummus!  I mean exactly.  The texture can be a little runnier depending on how watery your zucchini was, but the flavor is seriously spot on.  Zucchini is one impressive chameleon –  I’ve even seen faux cheesecake recipes using zucchini instead of cheese!  But with only 2 days left on this Whole30 I think I’ll just enjoy my “hummus” and hold out for real cheesecake!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • salt, as needed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • paprika, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Place the zucchini chunks in a colander and sprinkle with salt.  Allow it to sit and drain for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. While zucchini is draining, place lemon juice and tahini in a food processor.  Process about 20 seconds until well combined and smooth.
  3. Add olive oil, cumin, pepper and garlic to the food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine.
  4. Now rinse your zucchini briefly, just to remove the salt, and shake well to drain excess water.  Place the zucchini chunks in the food processor and puree.  This may take some pulsing, scraping, et cetera, but just keep at it until all the zucchini is good and pureed.
  5. Now taste a bit, and add up to a 1/2 tsp more salt, depending on your preferences.
  6. Pour into a bowl for serving, and sprinkle with a little paprika.  It’s even better the next day after the flavors meld and it thickens a bit in the fridge.

Makes about 1 cup.

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