As Wife and I are currently looking at going for an entirely anti-inflammatory diet I’m trying out a few recipes and this one really jumped out at me. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t like hummus, so with a hit of sweet potato through it, well…
- 1lb / 440g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
Method of Preparation:
- Set a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill with enough water to come just below basket; bring to a boil. Add potatoes; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a food processor.
- Combine chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, oil, cumin, and garlic in the sae food processor. Puree, about 1 minute; thin with water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and let cool; refrigerate, in an airtight container, up to 1 week.
If that looks easy it’s because it is. I don’t even have a steamer at the moment so I just dunked the potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes – no problem. That was the only change I made to the recipe. It’s a lovely sweet flavoured hummus, the ratios are all fantastic and I fully recommend this as it only takes about 20 minutes. The trick is to get your sweet potatoes going and then prep everything else, as soon as your potatoes are done it’s literally a minute in the food processor. Of course you have to let it cool but that’s not exactly time consuming cooking now is it?
You may be wondering why it’s anti-inflammatory? There has been a lot of research done into what foods produce inflammation in the body and those that don’t. Here’s another look at the ingredients list, without measures, to show you about each ingredient’s properties.
- Sweet potatoes – A great source of several anti-inflammatory compounds. The first of these is beta carotene, the anti-oxidant also found in carrots, and most other orange-coloured fruits and vegetables. This precursor to vitamin A is a strong antioxidant nutrient. The other compounds that work in a similar way are the flavonoids which are also strong colour pigments in the plant kingdom that give a colour spectrum ranging from deep reds, to oranges, to yellows. There are also storage proteins that are held within the root as a source of nutrition for the plant to use as it grows. These particular proteins have potent antioxidant activity many times stronger than the carotenoids present, making this vegetable a significant anti-inflammatory ingredient.
- Chickpeas – A key anti-inflammatory food, chickpeas help to control blood sugars and provide a boost from anti-inflammatory phytochemicals kaempferol and quercetin.
- Lemon juice – Lemons contain several nutrients in them such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B5, calcium, potassium, antioxidants, copper, zinc, manganese, selenium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, natural sugars and fibre. Lemon juice has medicinal properties in it such as antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, anti-tumor, anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory.
- Tahini – A good source of copper, a mineral with anti-inflammatory properties
- Olive oil – Extra-virgin olive oil has anti-inflammatoryproperties similar to ibuprofen and aspirin
- Cumin – Cumin is anti-inflammatory and warming to strained or damaged muscles. It relieves muscular pains and the pains of arthritis.
- Garlic – 1,2-DT (1,2-vinyldithiin) is one of the unique sulphur compounds in garlic that has long been recognized as having anti-inflammatory properties.
So there you have it, for an anti-inflammatory diet this stuff is great – plus it tastes delicious!