If you find yourself regularly opening the fridge and cupboards in search of a snack–something I find myself doing nearly every day, you might at times question your choices. Maybe you haven’t exactly analyzed every choice, but I bet you have felt a pang of guilt or remorse upon eating a handful of crackers or chips, knowing they offer you little more than empty calories. I know I have. And you aren’t alone if you practically loathe the thought of snacking on a bunch of plain carrots or celery sticks. They might satisfy the hunger pangs on occasion, but let’s be honest, they are just too plain. That said, fresh, raw vegetables are really good for us, and if we can dip those same boring-by-themselves vegetables into a flavorful and creamy sauce or chunky dip, we can manage to eat a lot more of them and actually enjoy the eating.
My husband loves traditional hummus and will dip just about anything into it, crackers and chips included. However, I’m practicing Paleo–at least roughly 85% of the time, and regular hummus falls on the 15% side. I would much rather use my 15% on something other than hummus, say for example, a fresh-fruit tart or peach cobbler. So for those snack-craving moments, since I can’t reach for crackers, chips or popcorn, and dairy isn’t a great friend to me, I’ve discovered zucchini hummus. It’s Paleo because it uses zucchini in place of garbanzo beans, and the zucchini impart a beautiful pale green color to this nutritious dip.
2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
A few sprigs parsley and/or paprika for garnish
Place all ingredients except the garnishes in a high-powered blender and process until completely smooth. Garnish with the parsley and/or paprika and enjoy with sliced carrots, sugar snap peas, broccoli or cauliflower florets or other crudite.
Shown below is a simple grain-free lunch with prosciutto-wrapped slices of pear and sugar snaps with zucchini hummus.