Roxbury Farm’s CSA (community supported agriculture) farm share of 24 weeks has been bountiful right up to the final weekly delivery this past week to a pick-up site at a neighbor’s house in my Albany, NY neighborhood. At a cost of $28.00 per week, it has been an economical way to enjoy the local growing season in the Hudson River Valley of upstate New York.
We’ve often noted the many reasons to connect up with a local farm as a farm share participant, which bear repeating: (1) freshly harvested food tastes better; (2) buying food from a local CSA keeps money in the pocket of a local farm family and protects local farmland; (3) shareholders in a CSA develop a relationship with a particular farm and farmers and a personal connection with a piece of our mother earth that can be visualized and experienced; and (4) participants in a CSA diversify their diets and try new foods.
This season, Roxbury Farm CSA shareholders have enjoyed a bountiful supply of sweet potatoes over the past few weeks, including with the final delivery this week.
With each delivery, “news from the farm” is sent to CSA participants in an e-mail “Letter from farmer Jody.” Often a suggested recipe from farmer Jody catches this home cook’s eye. This past week’s news from the farm included a recipe for Sweet Potato Hummus.
One of the first recipes shared on this blog/website was for Homemade and easy-to-make hummus back twelve years ago in December 2010! The ingredients noted in Jody’s recipe for sweet potato hummus included a 14-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups). But instead, it was as easy-as-pie for this home cook to make a batch of homemade hummus, using dry and organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas) available at the bulk food section of the Honest Weight Food Co-op, my local co-op in Albany, New York.
In addition, I decided to flavor the sweet potato hummus with turmeric, instead of the cayenne pepper, garlic and salt suggested in farmer Jody’s recipe. Turmeric has been called “the most effective nutritional supplement in existence” in an article, 10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin, published on the Healthline website.
Over the past year or two, this home cook has been flavoring vegetable stews and tomato sauces with turmeric, a very strong antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory effects according to many nutritionists. It was an easy decision to use this seasoning in my recipe for sweet potato hummus.
And no surprise that my recipe, like Jody’s, also includes lemon, tahini and olive oil.
It’s been said that turmeric has a distinctive earthy, slightly bitter taste and smell, but with the sweetness of Roxbury Farm’s sweet potatoes, the flavor from the juice of a whole lemon, and the sesame flavor of tahini, there is no bitter taste and smell from using turmeric in this recipe for sweet potato hummus.
An article on the website Eat Delights, What Does Turmeric Taste Like, also notes turmeric’s “amazing health benefits like helping with inflammation and reducing joint pain.” It also notes that turmeric, “a spice from the ginger family, has been used for centuries in Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and Middle Eastern cooking.”
Sweet Potato Hummus
1 extra large or two large sweet potatoes
1 cup dry chickpeas (garbanzos)
4 tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of turmeric powder
1-3 tablespoons of water as needed for desired creaminess
Rinse in cold water one cup of chickpeas. Place in a large bowl and cover with water and soak overnight (or at least for 3 to 4 hours). Drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water. Place chickpeas in a large pot and submerge with cold water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and then cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for at least an hour until soft and mashable.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and scrub one extra large or two large sweet potatoes (enough to produce approximately two cups of tender flesh). With a knife, poke some holes into the sweet potatoes and bake until soft (for about one hour).
Using a potato masher, mash the cooked chickpeas in a large bowl. The one cup of dry chickpeas will have cooked up into approximately 2 cups of soft chickpeas.
Scoop out the tender flesh of the baked extra large or two large sweet potatoes and discard (compost!) the skin. Add the sweet potato flesh to the mashed chickpeas and mash these two main ingredients together; also stirring and blending with a spoon.
Add 4 tablespoons of tahini, 3 tablespoons of turmeric powder, the juice of one lemon, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil, stirring the mixture thoroughly. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the hummus is a creamy consistency.
This recipe produces enough sweet potato hummus to serve 8-10 guests. A delicious appetizer/dip!
(Frank W. Barrie, 11/18/22)