I conduct a lot of taste tests in schools with kids in grades K-12. During garden club kids try a rainbow of different fruits and vegetables, including different vegetable varieties. The number of different types of carrots alone can help kids fall in love with the old familiar root again. In my day job at Truitt Family Foods, I lead hummus and flavored bean dip taste tests with thousands of students.
I have been surprised at how kids have gone from not knowing what hummus is to having an opinion on whether they are a “hummus person” or not in a relatively short period of time. Interestingly, one of the biggest barriers I have seen in introducing hummus to kids is the opinions and perceptions of adults. Research confirms kids take their cues on what to eat and what to think about food from adults and peers. When adults model willingness to try new foods, kids will too.
So go ahead and try this unBEETable hummus! Whether you are a hummus person or are not sure if you are a hummus person, this recipe is for you. This is truly a beautiful, delicious recipe from our dear friends at Minneapolis Public Schools Culinary and Wellness Services that kids in the Twin Cities devour.
- 3 cups garbanzo beans (canned or cooked)
- 1 cup beets, peeled and diced (you can use canned beets if canned only in water)
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup tahini (ground sesame)
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup garlic, finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Approximately ½ cup water
- To cook the beets, fill a 2 quart pot with 4 cups water and bring to a slow boil. Peel beets. Dice into ½ inch cubes. Carefully place beets in slowly boiling water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Check beets are tender by poking with a fork. Drain beets. Rinse with cool water, and drain again.
- In a food processor puree garbanzo beans, beets, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and ¼ cup water.
- Pulse ingredients in food processor slowly adding water until the desired consistency is achieved.
Here is a tip: when introducing your family to a new food such as hummus, pair it with one of their favorites. Trying hummus for the first time is not the best time to also introduce raw zucchini sticks. Pairing something familiar with something novel can increase the likelihood they will try it. Does your family like chips, pita, carrots, or jicama best? Then try this unBEETable hummus with that.
What is your unBEETable tip for encouraging your family to try new flavors? Leave a comment below.