Chocolate walnut hummus is a sweet twist on the savory snack dip. Made even heart-healthier with the addition of California walnuts, cocoa powder and yes, chickpeas!
I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
I know exactly what your thinking. Chocolate and hummus? Not so much, right? Waaaaitaminute my friends. This is for real. I admit I was skeptical when I kept seeing those black bean brownie posts on Pinterest a while back. Then I started to see desserts that featured various types of bean-loaded recipes. So when California Walnuts challenged members of the Recipe ReDux to come up with a heart healthy recipe that showcases walnuts, I thought... why not?!
And let me tell you - this works. Creamy, dreamy, choco-nutty. Kind of a guilt-free Nutella with benefits. Perfect for dipping your fruit, spooning into your yogurt or oatmeal, or just scooping with your finger (Shhh, don't tell).
Let's talk about the ingredients in this hummus - 'cause every single one has something good to bring to the party. Cocoa powder for those protective antioxidants, dates for their vitamins, minerals, and of course, natural sweetness, chickpeas (I know, scary, but trust, me, no one will know) for their protein and fiber, and of course, the star of the show - California walnuts - for their super-duper, 2.5 grams of essential omega-3 fat, 4 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber in every ounce. Oh, and let's not forget their mild nutty flavor and buttery texture that just works with all of these whole food ingredients.
When it comes to nuts, I pretty much heart them all. They all have healthy fats, so I try to not play favorites. But walnuts have a little something extra that pretty much blows the others away. They're packed full of heart-healthy, essential omega-3 fats - waaaay more than any other kind of nut. In fact, walnuts are the best plant-based source of omega-3 fat. While they're famous for their heart benefits, walnuts really have health and anti-aging benefits across the board. Don't just listen to me though - Here's what some of the research says about California walnuts:
- Eating walnuts for 6 months results in improved diet quality, improved LDL (bad) cholesterol, and healthier blood vessels
- In women, a walnut-rich diet has been shown to contribute to weight loss, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol, as well as decrease LDL cholesterol
- A Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts may likely help to reverse metabolic syndrome
- Eating walnuts may help with cognitive function, especially memory, concentration and information processing speed
- A higher-fat Mediterranean diet with fat from nuts, including walnuts, is associated with lower weight and less abdominal obesity than a low-fat diet
- Walnuts may provide protection against colon cancer, in part due to the beneficial changes they cause in the gut microbiome (healthy bacteria)
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So let's get healthy and heart some walnuts! Grab your food processor and whip up some chocolate walnut hummus. Your friends will think you're a genius.
Chocolate Walnut Hummus
- 15 ounce can chickpeas rinsed very well
- ½ cup pitted dates
- 1 cup walnuts toasted
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ cup light coconut milk plus extra if thinner consistency is desired
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, and process until smooth, or to desired consistency. Add additional coconut milk if a thinner texture is desired.
- Serve immediately with fresh fruit.
How do you heart walnuts? Don't forget to check out the other great CaWalnut recipes below!
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