I'm Heather, a Registered Dietitian from Vancouver, Canada. Welcome to my blog. I'm so excited to share my favourite recipes and chat about nutrition with you! 

Creamy Hummus with Smoked Paprika

Creamy Hummus with Smoked Paprika


Creamy Hummus


I'm a big fan of hummus, and make it pretty often. I usually use canned chickpeas for a quick and easy version, but when I tried this recipe it blew my other hummus out of the water! It's adapted from the Jerusalem Hummus recipe and it's the smoothest, creamiest hummus I've ever tried. If you don't want to go through all the effort of soaking and cooking dried chickpeas canned ones will work, but I highly suggest giving the long method a shot when you have a chance - I'm hooked! 

Did you know that 2016 is the year of the pulse? Pulses include beans, lentils and peas - and they're little nutritional powerhouses! As a dietitian they're something that I often advise people to eat more often, but I find many people aren't sure where to start. This might be a good place -Who doesn't love hummus?  Hummus is a great nutritious appetizer - full of fiber, complex carbs and protein, this version is a bit lower in fat than many store bought versions, it's much more cost effective, plus you get to skip the preservatives - win-win! :) 

For more info on pulses, including info on the pulse challenge keep scrolling past the recipe.


Serve your hummus with cut up veggies instead of chips

Serve your hummus with cut up veggies instead of chips


  • 250g dry chickpeas (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1 tsp baking soda x 2 
  • 750 mL water x 2
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup tahini
  • juice of 2 large lemons
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt (to taste)
  • ice water
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • smoked paprika
  • fresh parsley, coarsely chopped


Garbanzo Beans 1
  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl. Add 1tsp baking soda and add enough cold water to cover the chickpeas. Leave to soak overnight, or for at least 6 hours. 
  2. The next day, drain the chickpeas using a colander. Put the drained chickpeas into a med-large pot with 1tsp baking soda and 1.5L (6 cups) cold water. 
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook the chickpeas for about 45 minutes, until they're very soft but not falling apart. While chickpeas are cooking use a skimmer to skim off and discard any foam and skins that float to the surface. 
  4. Drain the chickpeas and allow them to cool for 15-20 minutes. 
  5. Put chickpeas into a food processor or vitamix and blend until a thick paste forms. 
  6. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and turn on blender or food processor. Slowly drizzle ice water into the mixture until the hummus becomes very smooth and creamy (similar to the texture of soft-serve ice cream). 
  7. Transfer hummus to a bowl to serve. This recipe makes a lot of hummus, so I usually split it into 2 serving bowls - this means more toppings and flavour. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle generously with smoked paprika, and top with fresh parsley. 
Creamy Hummus 2

Optional: To spice up your hummus a bit, you can blend in any of these add-ins for additional flavour. Just add them into the mix in step 6 and blend. 

  • roasted red pepper
  • caramelized onions
  • roasted beets (makes a pretty pink valentines hummus!)
  • extra smoked paprika
  • Roasted garlic

Tip: Can't find tahini? You can sub peanut butter or any nut butter instead!

Pulses: A 2016 Celebration


There are many reasons to eat more pulses, I could go on and on about this, but I know many of you aren't quite as excited as me, so I'll try to keep it short and sweet: 

Here are a few pulse highlights: 

1. Fiber

Did you know that most Canadians don't eat enough fiber? Women should shoot for at least 25g per day, and men for 38g per day. Fiber has a long list of benefits including  blood sugar and cholesterol control, digestion, regular bowel movements, and providing food for the healthy bacteria found in your gut (which then helps with many other things!). Fiber also makes you feel full after a meal, so your food tends to stick with you and you won't be running for the snack cupboard shortly after eating (you know the chinese food effect?? - the opposite).

2. Protein

Garbanso Beans 2

While most Canadians get enough protein in our diets, some don't. Make a point of including a protein source at every meal, including breakfast and lunch - I find if people miss out on protein, this is where it happens! Pulses are a great vegetarian source of protein and they're much more wallet-friendly than their meaty counterparts. Plus, back to the fiber - most of our protein sources (meat, dairy, eggs) are very low in fiber, so including some veggie                                                                        sources is a surefire way to up your intake!

3. Sustainability

Many pulses are grown in Canada, so you're supporting Canadian industry! They also have a much lower carbon footprint than animal sources of protein - they require less water and resources to grow and produce less gas and emission. They're nitrogen fixing plants, so they can also contribute to soil health.  According to the Water Footprint network pulses require 19L of water per gram of protein to grow, while beef requires 112L per gram of protein. Other animal products weigh in at about 30-60L water per g protein.

Other benefits include vitamin and mineral content (they're usually a good source of iron, something many women of childbearing age and vegetarians struggle to get enough of), low glycemic index, and they're naturally gluten-free! They're also much lighter on the wallet than most animal sources of protein.


Beans, Beans, the musical fruit? 

Here are some tips to help reduce gassy side-effects:

  • If you're not used to eating pulses, it may take your body some time to adjust to the fiber content. Start with a small amount and slowly increase, and make sure you drink lots of water!
  • Make sure you drain canned pulses, and rinse them really well! A lot of the gassy fiber gets trapped in the liquid the beans are canned in. 
  • If you're cooking dry pulses, don't cook them in the soaking water. Get rid of it and fill the pot with fresh water when you're done soaking. Want to get rid of even more gassy stuff? Change the water once or twice while you're soaking them.
  • If you're really having a hard time with the musical side-effects, there are pills you can take to help you digest the fiber in the beans called beano. 
  • Always cook pulses well - undercooked = more gas.

For more info on pulses including nutrition info, cooking tips, and great recipes check out these websites:
Pulse Canada
Canadian Lentils
Chef Michael Smith
- A Canadian celeb chef who's a big fan of pulses and has created many mouth-watering dishes! He's also a fan of local, sustainable food and he's super down-to-earth, I've had the privilege of meeting him at an event and tasting some of his lentil-inspired dishes


Creamy Hummus Nutrition

Nutrition info based on 10 servings of ~1/4 cup each.
Nutrition Highlights: 

  • Most pulses are a good source of iron - chickpeas included. Did you know that Vitamin C helps you absorb iron from vegetarian sources? The fresh lemon juice in this recipe is giving you a little added Vitamin C to help you out. For even more Vitamin C, eat your hummus with red pepper slices. 
  • Homemade hummus has way less sodium than store bought. If you like things a little saltier, sprinkle some extra salt on top of the hummus with the smoked paprika before serving. You'll still save yourself some sodium compared to buying hummus from the store. 
  • If you're comparing nutrition info, most store-bought hummus brands base their nutrition info on a 2Tbsp serving size. 1/4 cup (this recipe) is about double that. 
  • Serve your hummus with veggies instead of chips - save yourself the unhealthy fat and get some extra nutrients.

Happy Cooking! :)

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