Orange Sunflower Hummus

August 25, 2011


For the past several months now, hummus has become a major part of my diet. It’s easy to see why: hummus is tasty, nutritious, and versatile, and it’s also a blast to make at home. Recently I’ve been experimenting with some twists on the classic chickpea-and-tahini model, ranging from my absolutely fabulous Red Bean & Beet Hummus to my less astounding but still successful Chive Edamame Hummus to my celebratory Black & Gold Steelers Hummus. And this week I came up with yet another new hummus sensation, a little dip I’m calling Orange Sunflower Hummus!

It all started when I had some sunflower seed butter left over from a recent batch of sunflowerseed shortbread button cookies (probably my favorite gluten-free cookie recipe, by the way). As I mulled over how best to use what I had left, it occurred to me that I could substitute my sunflower seed butter for the tahini in a hummus (one of my all-time favorite hummuses replaces tahini with peanut butter—so good!). However, I didn’t think the hummus would be all that impressive if that were the only change, so I began thinking about all the other tweaks I could make. And then it hit me: replace the lemon with orange! I wasn’t completely sure it would work at first (orange is obviously a different sort of citrus than lemon, and not as sharply sour), but I was eager to give it a whirl and see how it’d turn out. Thankfully, the results were amazing!

As a final twist, I also decided to make my hummus a little spicy, adding a good dose of crushed red pepper flakes to the mix. This may not be for everyone, but I certainly enjoyed the added kick, which works surprisingly well with the other flavors. But enough talk: here’s what you’ve been waiting for—Orange Sunflower Hummus, as she is made!

Orange Sunflower Hummus


  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • salt & pepper to taste (plus crushed red pepper flakes, if you like)
  • sunflower seeds (optional)
  1. Put chickpeas, sunflower seed butter, orange juice and zest, and agave in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until mixture becomes smooth. Depending on how much juice you got from your orange, you may need to add up to 1/2 cup of water. Just keep adding water in small increments until you get the mixture to your desired consistency.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.
  4. Empty into a serving bowl and top with sunflower seeds.

And voilà! Hummus is so simple. And like I said, it’s versatile, too. Although this hummus is definitely good enough to just eat on its own, one of the ways I’ve been enjoying it is in hummus sandwiches like this one:

If you’re wondering what’s inside, here’s a more revealing view:

It’s really quite simple—just hummus topped with sliced cucumbers and sprouts. Tons of other combinations would also work, of course, so try making it for yourself and creating your own delicious sandwiches, or just enjoy this hummus as a vegetable dip, or added to a salad, or in a nori roll—the possibilities are endless!

Until we eat again,



  1. Hummus is really a massive part of my diet these days too. It just can’t be beaten. Although I do sometimes need a little time off I always come back. This hummus looks delightful, thanks for sharing the recipe as I need to divert myself away from plain hummus to something slightly more interesting.

    • Yeah, making little twists on the classic hummus formula is a good way to keep hummus in your diet while still keeping things new and interesting. Also, if you’re looking for a break from hummus, I’ve really been digging cashew spreads lately. Here’s one of my favorites, from Choosing Raw: http://goo.gl/NUX32

  2. The sandwich looks soooooooo good, you’re making me hungry.

  3. […] variations I’ve been coming up with, such as my unbeatable Beet Hummus and my newest hit, Orange Sunflower Hummus. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to go back to the classic formula: you know—chickpeas, […]

  4. Yum! I’ve discovered sweet “hummus” recently, too, with my chocolate bean butter and now I’m trying all kinds of fruity flavors! This sounds like a winner–and that sandwich looks great!

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