Since being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis six months ago, I have done a lot of reading and a lot of learning. I have completely changed the way I eat, drink, move and think. One of the most fun things has been creating new recipes and putting them all on this blog, ensuring that I can enjoy all my favourite foods and stay healthy. However, I have still been struggling with pains and mobility restrictions and this can be a real mental and emotional challenge.
Convinced that something could be done about this, I started researching how IgG testing could help me eliminate the correct foods for your body by finding out what foods my body was creating antibodies against. When I received my results, I was heartbroken. On the list of things I should avoid were garlic and sesame seeds. This would be difficult for most people, but for me and anyone from the Middle East it seemed impossible. Garlic and tahini (ground sesame seeds) goes into everything, and I felt immediately disheartened. But I have to remember how far I have come, and how many changes I have already made, challenges I have overcome and how I must and can do this. The first thing I went to work on was hummus, as I eat it most days and those two ingredients are essential to a conventional recipe.
This version of hummus is so extremely tasty, and is actually very good served warm. I have already made it several times for brunch and it is delicious. As well as having an irresistible rich, deep and smoky flavour it is also very healthy for you with shallots being an anti-inflammatory and red peppers being rich antioxidants, containing vitamin A, C and carotenoids. Chickpeas are a great source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and hard-to-find selenium, these are especially important if you have excluded animal products.
You will need to pre-soak the chickpeas and boil them for 1hr and 20mins until you can easily smash with a fork. If you can’t find dried chickpeas or do not have the time, then you can use canned chickpeas, but do ensure that you opt for organic.
This version of hummus is chunky, partly to make it nice and rustic, but mostly because I don’t have any electrical kitchen equipment (apart from my amazing and life-saving juicer!) in my small London flat. I use a potato masher and it works perfectly!
1 red pepper
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 pinch Himalayan pink salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1. preheat the oven to 200C. Put the whole red pepper in oven on a baking sheet for 20-30 minutes
2. heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a pan and add the shallots, stirring occasionally until nicely browned (this should take 15-20 minutes)
3. in the meantime, put the chickpeas in a bowl and start crushing them with the potato masher, adding a tablespoon of the olive oil every so often to soften and bind the mixture
4. when the red pepper is ready (crinkled, brown and smelling great), remove from the oven, pull out the stork and take out all the seeds. While still warm, chop the pepper and add to the chickpeas
5. using the potato masher, mix and mash in the pepper with the chickpea mash
6. add the salt, pepper and make sure all the olive oil is mixed it. When you get it to the consistency you are happy with, serve with your choice of bread, crackers and crudité