I'm thrilled that my favorite autumn vegetables, sweet potatoes, are making their first appearances at farmers' markets. I'm a true sweet potato fanatic—my favorite sweet potato recipes are savory rather than sweet, full of peppery spices instead of the typical cinnamon and nutmeg. I was delighted when I came across local, organic sweet potatoes on a rainy day last week. I had seen a couple of recipes for sweet potato hummus around the web and decided to make a spicy version at home. It makes a wonderful appetizer to share or snack for one (with lots of leftovers for later)! There are many reasons to love sweet potatoes. Behind their rough reddish skins hides a brilliant orange interior that is packed with antioxidants and flavor. Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of Vitamin A around, and excellent at reducing inflammation. You may be surprised to learn that unlike Plain Jane Russet potatoes, sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates that can actually help control blood sugar. (nutrition facts source). Combined with protein-rich chickpeas, a bit of healthy fat from olive oil, and good-for-you spices, this hummus is a nutritional all-star, and a delicious one at that.

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Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus [Vegan]

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • ground sea salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
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Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the sweet potatoes on the middle oven rack or in a baking dish for 45 minutes to an hour. They should yield to a gentle squeeze when they're done baking.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are cooling, toss all of the other ingredients into a food processor. Once the sweet potatoes have cooled enough to handle, use a knife or your fingers to peel the skin off of them. Add the sweet potatoes to the food processor.
  3. Blend well, and serve! I garnished mine with a light sprinkle of cayenne pepper and sesame seeds.