Dessert hummus may sound strange, but the creamy chocolatey spread tastes decadent—and packs nutrients too.
When I first heard about the dessert hummus trend, I was skeptical. After all, chocolate is sacred, and chickpeas have other important places to be, like in salads. But when I recently spotted a strategically placed container of brownie batter hummus by the supermarket cash register, I caved. Curiosity (and an unexpectedly straightforward ingredient list) got the best of me.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the brownie batter hummus, made by Delighted By Hummus ($5, walmart.com), contained real ingredients like coconut milk and pure vanilla extract. My excitement intensified when I tasted the hummus at home. I genuinely enjoy healthy sweets (think: sweet potato brownies), but the brownie batter hummus tasted decadent to me, deeply chocolatey and smooth. It wasn’t long before I found myself spooning it straight from the container. No shame.
My store-bought treat quickly convinced me that the dessert hummus trend is actually worth the hype, not to mention that the naturally vegan and gluten-free dessert serves up health benefits as well. A two-tablespoon serving of the brownie batter hummus I tried offered a small hit of plant-based protein and fiber from the chickpeas, plus some satiating fat from coconut oil and coconut milk, all for just 80 calories.
I’m not the only one drooling over dessert hummus; chefs are on board with the better-for-you dessert too. Pamela Salzman, a Los Angeles-based chef, included a recipe for chocolate hummus in her cookbook, Kitchen Matters ($23, amazon.com). Salzman, who is also a holistic health counselor and cooking instructor, says that while she's experimented with legumes in baked goods, she stumbled upon dessert hummus by chance.
“I was tweaking the black bean cookie dough bites recipe for my cookbook and tasted the batter and I thought the texture was similar to hummus,” Salzman tells Health. That’s when the light bulb went off to make a chocolate hummus. Because why not?
Salzman recommends pairing the sweet spread with apple slices and topping them with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Also genius: Remix her dessert hummus recipe (below) using your favorite mix-ins. “There are limitless ways to adapt this hummus,” she says. “You can add a drop of peppermint extract for a chocolate mint hummus, a pinch of cayenne pepper and cinnamon for a Mexican-inspired hummus, instant coffee powder for a mocha version, or top it with mini marshmallows and serve it with graham crackers for a healthier take on s’mores.”
Unlike other legume-based dessert recipes like black bean brownies or chickpea blondies, this one doesn’t require you to turn on the oven, making it the perfect treat for summer. Simply throw a few easy-to-find ingredients into your food processor, hit blend, and you’re done. Just beware you may want to lick the “batter” straight from the blender.
Makes: about 2 cups
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 (15-ounce) can, drained and rinsed (or sub white beans)
2 Medjool dates, pitted
⅓ cup unsweetened, unsalted, raw, or roasted almond butter
¼ cup pure grade A maple syrup
¼ cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup warm water
1. Place all the ingredients, except the water, in a food processor or high-speed blender. Process until smooth.
2. With the motor running, add the warm water and process until combined.
3. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.