Image adapted from indigotimbre, Flickr, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hummus is tired. There, I’ve said it! You’ve been thinking it, too? Maybe a little bit? Yes, hummus is healthy, delicious, and wholesome, but it’s time to freshen it up. If you’re bored with hummus, read on to learn how to make infinite bean spread creations based on one very simple formula. Then reignite the spark for bean spreads with 5 bean spread recipes to try. Enjoy!

At its core, hummus is really just pureed beans with tasty seasonings (usually garlic) and a bit of extra liquid (usually lemon juice) and fat (typically tahini and/or olive oil) in the mix. The formula for a hummus recipe looks something like this:

Chickpeas + garlic + lemon juice + tahini + olive oil = hummus

Pretty basic. So when you deconstruct hummus into a generic formula, here’s what you’re looking at:

Bean/legume + seasonings + acidic liquid + creamy/liquidy fat = bean spread

That’s it!

You can take this formula and apply it to any ingredients you have on hand in the kitchen, and suddenly you’re able to come up with an endless combination of your very own “hummus” or bean spread creations. Black beans, lime juice, jalapenos, and almond butter? Sure! Cannellini beans, parsley and oregano, balsamic vinegar, and tahini? Why not!

Personally, I’m a big fan of adding loads of fresh herbs into my bean spreads (and all recipes, really), as they add tons of flavor, color, and spunk. Either puree them into the mix, or spoon them into the finished puree for more of a speckled-green presentation.

Also, you can actually replace part or all of the beans in a hummus with cooked vegetables for really interesting—in a good way, I promise!—results. Roasted beets or sweet potatoes … ripe avocados … blanched carrots or broccoli … Anything soft enough to be pureed smooth in a food processor is going to do the trick. The bonus: add fiber, color, and micronutrients to your newfangled bean spread creation.

If you’re not ready to hit the DIY-bean spread plunge yet, and still need some instructive inspirations, here are 5 bean spread recipes to try today:

1)      Avocado Hummus from The Comfort of Cooking

2)      Spiced Black Bean Hummus with Marinated Peaches from Health.com

3)      Roasted Beet Hummus from Whole Living

4)      Sweet Potato Hummus from Taste Of Home

5)      Smoky Red Lentil Hummus from Kashi

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Image adapted from indigotimbre, Flickr, (CC BY-SA 2.0)