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spicy sweet potato and lemon garlic butternut hummus


butternut squash hummus

Ever make a mistake, but the end result turns out to be better than originally planned? That’s not exactly what happened here… but more on that later. A few Sundays ago, I decided to join in on the Super Bowl food frenzy madness – by the wayAmericans consume about 2,400 calories during the game alone, and 1.25 billion chicken wings… yep, you heard me – and contribute a healthy option: homemade hummus. Having never made hummus before, it seemed like an interesting yet not too challenging task, but leave it to me to complicate things…

I love traditional hummus, in all its chick pea-tahini-garlic glory, but I wanted an ingredient twist. A quick survey of the kitchen revealed a couple of sweet potatoes sitting idly by, right next to a lazy little butternut squash. Seemed like a good place to start, so I searched for some ideas to see which would make a better hummus. Well, as with most internet searches, down the rabbit hole I went into a world of endless hummus possibility. After some narrowing down, and a little inspiration from two of my favorite blogs, the adventurous foodie in me just couldn’t resist, and I knew I had two… um, hummuses? hummai?… two types of hummus to make.

Needless to say, I got too swept away in my kitchen world to make it in time for kickoff, but I think I enjoyed playing with the recipes more than the game anyway (I’m a real football fan, I promise). I guess when you experiment with something, mistakes can happen. When making the butternut squash hummus, I accidentally picked up the pumpkin spice seasoning bottle instead of the paprika, and dumped in a tablespoon before realizing, and having an oh sh*t moment. But I have to say, it certainly didn’t hurt. The spicy sweetness combined well with the savory squash, after all I suppose pumpkin is a squash. I would probably make the same mistake when making it again, except like, on purpose. Bottom line: when you see pumpkin spice OR paprika in the ingredient list, that’s why, and it’s your moment to decide if you like pumpkin spice enough to see what it tastes like in hummus. I say go for it.

And while things should have stopped there, they certainly didn’t. Heck no, I was on some crazy hummus experiment binge at this point. After I made the sweet potato hummus, and then the butternut squash, I stood there dipping veggies and pita into each, unable to decide which I liked better. The taste and consistency of the sweet potatoes mixed with tahini and everything else was almost like eating peanut butter. Win. The butternut squash came out much more like traditional hummus, mixed with chick peas, garlic, and lemon, plus the secret ingredient… giving it a smooth tangy richness. In the end, I mixed the two together, creating the best hummus I think I’ve ever had, and called it a day.

sweet potato hummus

sweet potato hummus

Ingredients: spicy sweet potato hummus

2 medium sweet potatoes

1/4 cup tahini

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tbsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Steps: (I roasted the sweet potatoes and squash together on the same baking sheet to save time)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place face down on baking sheet, bake for 35 minutes

3. Let sweet potatoes cool, then remove skins (they should slide right off)

4. Mash sweet potatoes in a bowl with a fork, mix in tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings, stir until smooth


Ingredients: lemon garlic butternut squash hummus

1 medium butternut squash

1 can low sodium chick peas, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup tahini

1/2 lemon

2 tbsp plain soy milk

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp paprika or pumpkin spice

1/2 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, line baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Cut squash lengthwise and scrape out seeds, spray inside with cooking spray or rub in a little olive oil, place halves face down on baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes

3. Remove from oven and let cool, scoop out insides and transfer to a high speed blender

4. Add chick peas, tahini, juice from lemon, soy milk, and minced garlic to blender, blend on high until smooth

5. Add paprika or pumpkin spice, cumin, salt and pepper, and blend

sweet potato and butternut squash hummus on toast

sweet potato and butternut squash hummus on toast




spicy cashew butternut pasta


An instant take-away from making this recipe: I love Sriracha hot chili sauce, and I think I’m a little late to the party. I’ve always overlooked the bright red bottles with neon green caps sitting on the tables of my favorite Thai and sushi restaurants, my mistake! I finally purchased some 083after eating at a friend’s house recently, and opening her fridge to find about five bottles of the stuff. She said she’d heard there was a shortage, and wasn’t taking any chances.

Another take-away: I’ve always been intimidated to cook with winter squash (how does one get in there?), and I’ve been missing out. They’re really not that hard to slice if you have the right knife. I overcame the fear with spaghetti squash and now use it regularly as a healthy noodle substitute. Slicing up a butternut squash into cubes was more involved, but well worth it. I even got a little arm workout. I suppose you could buy pre-cubed frozen squash, or even slice a whole one into two halves and scrape out the seeds, roast it and scoop out the soft center (just like spaghetti squash)… but I had something to prove this time, so I went for it.

It was quite a success! The light, fluffy texture… the sweet, savory taste… the health benefits… I’m in love with a food again. I’ve seen recipes blending butternut squash into soups, so I thought, why not a sauce? I’d also heard of soaking cashews and blending them to make “cashew cream,” and this seemed like the perfect combination with my squash.

For added color and an extra vegetable, I added broccoli which I highly recommend, but I’m sure any of your favorite vegetables would go nicely. I also saved some roasted butternut squash cubes to mix into the pasta for more texture, and just for fun. The subtle creamy sweetness of the sauce makes an excellent base for experimenting with your favorite flavors. I added hot sauce, garlic, and lemon. This one is definitely a keeper.



  • your favorite pasta (I used 2 cups bowtie pasta)
  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash, diced into cubes
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and rinsed
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 Tb lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tb Sriracha hot chili sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • 1 Tb onion powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tb nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • salt to taste


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2. Slice butternut squash into cubes, spread evenly over baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil

3. Roast squash for 20-30 minutes or until cubes are soft, and let cool (save a few cubes to add to pasta)

4. In high powered blender, add all ingredients: squash, cashews, almond milk, lemon juice, garlic, hot sauce, onion powder, chili powder, nutritional yeast, and blend on high until sauce is smooth

5. Cook desired amount of pasta noodles according to package directions

6. Steam desired amount of broccoli or other vegetables to mix into the pasta

7. Combine sauce with noodles, butternut squash cubes, and steamed broccoli

8. Add salt to taste

Sauce makes about 3 cups, plenty to get creative with later!