Thursday, September 8, 2011

Avocado Hummus and Homemade Horseradish

A couple years ago, my aunt was visiting from California, and she and my mom were grocery shopping.  My mom picked up a few avocados, commenting that they were at a really good price when they are on sale 10 for $10.  As I remember the story, my aunt promptly got on her phone to call someone back in California to tell them the unbelievable news - that my mom had just paid a whole dollar for an avocado!  (Apparently you can get them 10 for $1 out there - who knew we Coloradans were overpaying so much for a fruit that they get to enjoy like it's penny candy!)

Nonetheless, I will continue to overpay for them (what other choice do I have, anyway?) because they are not only delicious, but good for you, too.

Last Saturday, Jamie and I undertook a "project" in the kitchen which I can talk more about in a few weeks, but won't say anything more about right now.  I'm still holding my breath that it turns out the way I'm desperately hoping for.  I know I set my heart too much on certain things (like a vacation to Maine in October which we won't be able to afford), and then get terribly disappointed when they don't happen (like not getting kissed on my 16th birthday).  But I don't want to be without hope, because hope for future dreams gives me things to look forward to and aspire to.  Even if they don't come true.  But man, I have my fingers crossed so tightly for this one...

I had a sudden craving for guacamole that day, but wanted to make it a bit healthier.  Even though avocados are a healthy fat, they are still a fat, so moderation is key.  And when I saw a can of garbanzo beans in our pantry, I thought the beans would add a nice texture, as well as provide some great protein and fiber.

I've been eating it all week, and have really enjoyed it on bread and crackers - I've also been very pleased that it didn't turn brown at all like guacamole does - it's maintained a very nice, fresh green color.  Jamie, however, wasn't too crazy about it since he was expecting it to taste like guacamole and the hummus-like texture (it is hummus, after all) threw him off a little.  I think he felt a little duped, like when my sister served her husband mashed cauliflower and he took a big bite thinking it was mashed potatoes.

Some lime juice and zest, a few spices and some homemade horseradish adds a nice kick to the hummus.  If horseradish isn't your thing, add some diced jalapeno to the hummus.

Last winter when Jamie's parents came for a visit, his dad brought us some horseradish that he had made himself.  We compared it to a jar of store-bought creamy-style horseradish, and really, by comparison, the store-bought tasted like little more than mayonnaise.  I don't think I'll ever buy a jar of it again - it just tastes way too bland - and I really like bold horseradish that gets you right in the nose!

And with the holidays coming up, horseradish will be the best friend of all those platters of summer sausage, cheese and crackers going to be consumed around games of Scrabble, along with plenty of cups of hot chocolate and cider.

Until now, I've been a little wary of horseradish root - it's just so weird-looking - with all that slimy skin and strange hairy bits, it looks like something that belongs in the forest on Princess Bride.  But once all that is peeled off and it's washed nice and clean, it's really not so scary.  :)

Homemade Horseradish
  • 1 cup peeled and diced horseradish root
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (optional)
In a food processor, pulse the horseradish root until it's very finely minced into a pulpy texture.  Add the sugar and vinegar and pulse a few times.  Add the mayonnaise if you'd like a creamy-style horseradish.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge - the flavor will develop over a few days as the sugar and vinegar ferment a little, intensifying the flavor of the horseradish.

Avocado Hummus
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish (or substitute a diced jalapeno)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper
In a food processor, puree all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Adjust seasoning as needed.  To serve, sprinkle with more freshly cracked pepper, salt and paprika.


  1. This sounds SO delicious! I have never thought about making my own horseradish ... why not? I love your description of the hairy horseradish root. (Princess Bride is one of my favorit1e movies ...)

  2. This is so great! I am loving your mixture of avocado and horseradish! I have never done that before but I love both of those things! Have a great weekend!

  3. I just made home made horseradish too but I never thought of adding mayo! Yum! Thanks for the amazing flavor ideas!

  4. Hummus scares me! I don't like beans, so as much as I want to try hummus, I am nervous. But THIS!! I LOVE avocado's - I could get on board with trying this!

  5. Your red seasoning is a very effective foil to the beautiful avocado-green. Wonderful, healthy, elegant party food. Bravo!

  6. These are two amazing recipes! Home made horseradish? How cool are you?

  7. Both recipes sound really delicious! And I bet I'd like this hummus more than I would guacamole!

  8. One year for Passover, we shredded horseradish by hand. Never again. After all that teary-eyed madness, I decided the next year to buy the horseradish with beet juice and never looked back. LOL!


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