If you have ever come into our office, you probably know that Donna (our LPC-I/mental health counselor) is my mom. What you probably do not know about Donna is that she is insanely resourceful when it comes to cooking. She is the person that will see 3 ingredients in the cabinet and with throw it all in a blender and come up with something new. Not all of her inventions were mind-blowing successes, but that has never stopped her.

One of my mom’s inventions was peanut butter, pumpkin hummus. She took canned pumpkin puree and peanut butter and blended them with spices and it was pretty good. Strange, but tasty. Over the years she cleaned up this recipe and has brought in the current iteration into the office for staff meetings.

I was feeling inspired last night and wanted to make my own version of her peanut butter, pumpkin hummus, however I had none of the ingredients. So here is my version (it turned out pretty great!!).

I started with a sweet potato because for some reason, during the panic buying before I put myself on full quarantine, I bought a bunch of organic sweet potatoes. So in an effort to use them all before they go bad, this is my second sweet-potato-quarantine-recipe.

I washed, pricked with a fork, and wrapped the sweet potato in foil, then stuck it in the oven at 450F for 1.5 hours (this was a big sweet potato). Once I was able to (with a pot hold) squeeze the sweet potato and felt soft, I removed it from the oven, took it out of the foil, and then allowed it to cool in a mixing bowl until it was no longer steaming.

Next, I found some tahini in the back of my fridge that I had had for who-even-knows how long, and added 3 tablespoons to my cooled sweet potato. Tahini is sesame seed butter, essentially. It is one of the main ingredients in most hummus recipes. This is where you can get creative. If you do not have tahini, you could try using peanut butter (like my mom!), or almond butter. Or if you have nuts or seeds in your pantry, maybe try to make your own nut or see butter. The sky is the limit!

Then it was time for spices and seasonings. Traditional hummus has salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and lemon juice. I started with the traditional spices, but used fresh minced garlic (2 cloves), and switched the lemon juice for lime juice (half a lime, juiced) because that is what I had in my fridge (we love margaritas in my house!!). Next, I added in some dried herbs. I had some sage, oregano, and parsley and figured “why not?”. I added a shake of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was having fun!

Once you have all of your chosen spices and miscellaneous ingredients, it is time to blend. I have a stick blender, so I stuck that straight into the mixing bowl and blended until smooth. This could have been blended in a blender or a food processor – anything to make your final product super smooth, and totally mixed. Lastly, drizzle some olive oil or avocado oil over the top of the smooth mixture (about 2-4 tablespoons) and stir (not blend) in the oil to give your hummus a little more body and some shine.

My biggest tip is to taste this recipe and season more if you feel like it needs it. There is nothing wrong with seasoning to YOUR taste and adding some odd spices you would not normally use. Be creative!

This hummus goes really *really* well on Siete grain free tortilla chips. All while writing this, I have been snacking on the hummus with the Siete chips. It is pretty great! 🙂

As one last tip, stay home, please. Help flatten the curve. Spend sometime in the kitchen making some weird and fun foods and dishes. This is the time to experiments in your kitchen and try something new!

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