Before we get to this Sweet Potato Hummus (mmmm hmmmm, you read that right .... Sweet Potato Hummus), I have a funny story from my classroom to share. One of my little 1st graders absolutely cracked me up this week with what he said ...
A little background.
Some six- and seven-year-olds, as I'm sure you can imagine, have just a tad of a difficult time being still in their seats and staying focused on their work. Well, this one particular student I have has an extremely difficult time with these two things. He squirms so much that it's a normal occurrence for him to be almost lying across his neighbor's desk, or to fall out of his chair on a daily basis.
To help with this wiggle-wormy-ness, I strategically have him placed where no one sits behind him ... so his squirming will impact the fewest others ... and so when he stands up at his desk while doing his work (which is also a frequent occurrence), he won't block the view of other students. As I'm sure you're not surprised to hear, he is also strategically placed on a corner, right in front of my instructional assistant's desk ... who just so happens to have a plant on her desk.
So, the other day, said student was having an extra extremely difficult time sitting still and getting anything done with his work. Not only was he not getting done what he needed to get done, he was keeping his deskmates from getting their work done, too. And they were working on an assessment that I had to have from each of them as input for their report cards.
I had no choice.
I had to whip out 'the island' move ... a move I really try hard not to do. You all know it, right? You've heard your children's teachers say it at some point, right? ... moving a student's desk to be all by itself ... a.k.a. --- 'the island.'
I know this move has a negative connotation. But let me go on the record for teachers everywhere ... 'the island' is not necessarily a punishment! Sure ... sometimes it is. But many times ... and in my classroom, most times ... it's truly a move that's in the best interest of the student (or students) involved. To help them. To get work done. To save sanity.
So, I proceeded to move the student's desk over to the end of my instructional assistant's desk where he would have a less-distracting 'environment' in which to work. Full-well expecting him to react in a less-than-positive way, I gently explained why said student's desk was being moved and mentally braced myself for the reaction ...
And here's where I got my great laugh.
His reaction? In a very exuberantly happy tone, he enthusiastically exclaimed ... "Yay!!! Now I get to talk to the plant!!"
After about an hour, I did finally get him to finish the paper he was working on.
Now, let's talk Sweet Potato Hummus.
When I came across this recipe, I was totally intrigued. I love sweet potatoes. I love hummus. But in no way, shape, or form had it ever crossed my mind to join them together.
I had to give it a try.
Turns out, the person who dreamed this up is a genius!
It's made with the traditional hummus ingredients of chickpeas and tahini, to which sweet potato pulp is added. The sweet potato flavor is definitely there, but since it's combined with the chickpeas and tahini, it's not like sitting down to a big ol' scoop of mashed sweet potatoes, which was kinda my fear. It's hummus with the sweetness of sweet potatoes. It's also got a hefty amount of fresh lemon juice, which leads to the lemon flavor being pretty prominent. I found it really nice, but if you're inclined to find lemon an overpowering flavor, dial back a bit on the amount of lemon juice.
This was one of those recipes I figured was either going to be really good or terrible ... with no middle ground. I'm glad to say, I thought it was really good!
- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (approximately 1 or 2 lemons)
- 1/4 c. tahini
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 c. water
- Cook the sweet potatoes - Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces; place in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Or, wrap each unpeeled potato in a paper towel and microwave on 'high' until tender, about 5 to 12 minutes (depending on your microwave). Let cool for a few minutes; slice down the middle and scoop out pulp.
- Place sweet potato in a food processor. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, cumin, garlic, and 1/4 cup of the water. Process until smooth, approximately 1 minute. Add remaining water, if needed, and continue processing to achieve desired consistency.
- Add salt and pepper; stir to combine.
- Let cool. Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika before serving, if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.