It seems like I’ve written an awful lot about hummus on a website whose recipes don’t use beans or legumes of any kind! First I told you all about how much I used to live on the stuff in this post about my former vegetarian days, then I told you how I stumbled upon an idea to make a no – bean version of Paleo hummus here. Now I’ve adapted that original Paleo hummus recipe ever so slightly to give you a roasted red pepper version. Because, let’s face it, the only thing better than Paleo hummus is flavored Paleo hummus, right?
“But Cashews are legumes!”
I see this go round and around the Paleosphere on a regular basis. In fact, I’ve seen cashews claimed as a nut, a seed AND a legume! However, cashews are the seeds of the cashew apple, even though they are called “nuts” and treated as such in cooking. Now a legume is defined as either a member of the botanical family “Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant”. Given that a cashew apple is in the botanical family Anacardiaceae, I don’t believe that cashews can be considered legumes.
Mark Sisson writes about why he considers cashews ok to eat in small amounts once they have been soaked to remove phytic acid. The phytic acid thing is pretty interesting, especially when you consider that a serving of almonds has 68.5% of the phytic acid found in the same sized serving of cashews, yet you don’t see many Paleo people soaking almonds that often. Phytic Acid aside, soaking the cashews here also helps soften the nuts, making them much easier to blend into a smooth paste, which is essential to the texture of this Paleo hummus recipe.
How to make your own Paleo Hummus
First you will need to soak your organic raw cashews. I do this by putting them in a bowl and covering them with filtered water and leaving them in the fridge overnight. I’ve also run across recipes that call for soaking the cashews for only about 2 – 3 hours. The soaking is partially to get rid of the phytic acid and partially because it will soften the cashews so that they are much easier to blend. However long you choose to soak the cashews for your Paleo hummus, make sure to rinse them well and then drain them.
To make the actual hummus, use a blender or mini food processor to blend together your raw cashews, tahini and garlic. This will be a very thick paste. Next add the lemon juice, olive oil & seasoning. Give that another quick whiz together. Now you’re going to want to add the coconut milk – it should start to look like real hummus at this point. Now add the chopped roasted red peppers and give everything a final blend together and – lookit! – you have roasted red pepper Paleo hummus! This is so close to the texture of real hummus that I positively “squee’d” with joy! It’s creamy and dippable just like the bean-based original and has all the right flavors of tahini, lemon & fresh garlic, plus the extra punch of smoked paprika and roasted peppers. Play around with the measurements of those things to really customize this Paleo hummus to your taste! I like to drizzle mine with a little extra olive oil and sprinkle on some extra smoked paprika before serving.
A note on storage: if you keep this in the fridge, it will thicken up (like anything with coconut milk in it) and become less smooth. Let it come to room temperature before serving and all will be well!
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