Light Hummus Recipe (Made Purple with Beet Powder)

I love hummus.  The delightfully garlicky, olive-oil rich spread that brings me to happy town.

Today’s recipe still brings me to happy town – it just takes a very different route:

Light Hummus Recipe (Made Purple with Beet Powder) November Chickpeas Beet

Yep, it’s a pink/purple hummus made without olive oil. 

I can hear the lords of chickpeas yelling from their garbanzo-bean-pallace, “WWWHHHHHYYYYYY?”  And I’m afraid I don’t really have a great answer.  The first answer that comes to mind is, “because.”  I’m guessing that won’t please Kyamites (a demi-god or hero of the Eleusinian mysteries who presided over the cultivation of beans, according to Google) so I better try harder to find an answer…

I wanted to make a sandwich spread that was just as tasty as hummus and a little lighter on caloric intake (although I know olive oil has plenty of benefits and I use it regularly).  I also decided to use beet powder because I thought it would be fun (as well as delicious) and perhaps some of you with kids would have a better time getting them to eat something of a different color (surely we all remember this).

If you don’t have beet powder, you could easily use a bit of brine from pickled beets.  If you want to learn about making beet powder (it takes 5 pounds to make a half cup of very potent powder), you can check out this article from 2010.  The powder we used was from that very jar and still has plenty of beet flavor.


  • 1 19-ounce can of chickpeas (if you can only find a 15 ounce can, that’s fine as all measurements are approximate).  Drain the chickpeas (reserved the liquid in another bowl).
  • 2 cloves of garlic (feel free to adjust up or down.
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons tahini (use peanut butter if you don’t have it)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon (about 1.5 freshly squeezed lemons)
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole yogurt
  • 0.25-1 tablespoon of beet powder (or brine from pickled beets – if you use the brine you can add one less tablespoon of lemon)


  1. Peel the garlic and mince it in a food processor.
  2. Add the beans (in thirds) to the food processor and puree as smooth as they will go.
  3. Add the lemon and puree the mix further.
  4. Add tahini and continue to mix.
  5. Add the yogurt and continue to mix.
  6. Add your beet powder (or brine) a bit at a time.  Taste as you go and stop when you’re happy.
  7. Finish by adding small bits of the reserved brine until the hummus has the texture you want.  I prefer very smooth (yet not liquid).

Does the colour put you off?  What else would/ do you use beet powder for?


  1. oops, I made hummus a few nights ago to serve on homemade naan/flatbread. I didn’t open a single cookbook, so the recipe was essentially garbanzos (one can, with some reserved liquid) lemons (one from my tree – my ONLY lemon – HEY we are in Canada, ya know- plus two others. juiced) tahini (what, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup?) and garlic cloves (don’t count our cloves, one of mine is the size of three regular ones – say 3 -4 regular cloves).
    I totally forgot the oil! OOPS. it was (and still is) totally yummy. better with olives dotted on top. mmm. but the beet option sounds fun…

  2. Anne Ollamha says:

    Beet powder makes pasta prettier. Just saying…

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