Easy No-Bean Hummus

August 16th, 2012 at 7:07 am

gluten-free, dairy-free, hummus, recipe, no beans

Hummus is one of those foods. If left alone with a jar of homemade hummus and a spoon, I could easily down the whole thing faster than Usain Bolt can sprint. I may not be able to eat the pita bread anymore, but I can still eat the hummus and man am I grateful for that.

The other day at one of my cooking classes, I met a woman who is on a very restricted carb diet. Even beans are off-limits for her at this point. I know there’s more of you out there who don’t eat beans either, so I thought it was high time I come up with a bean-free dip recipe that looks, tastes, and acts like hummus.

This is it!

It’s smooth but still a tad bit grainy, just like the hummus I’m used to. What makes it so similar to the real deal? Steamed cauliflower.

Don’t cringe just yet, because the flavor of cauliflower is barely detectable in this hummus. The fragrant cumin and garlic really shine, but it’s the additions of almond flour (or ground seeds) and sesame tahini that mellow out the cauliflower’s flavor.

The healthy fats in this dip give it a satisfying quality that will keep you full long after your mid-afternoon snack. And if you use it as a dip for veggies, it’ll be like you’re dipping your veggies…in veggies! (Am I a complete veggie geek for thinking that’s cool?)

Like all cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower supports the body in fighting cancer. It balances our inflammatory/anti-inflammatory systems which in turn helps prevent chronic diseases. Pairing cruciferous veggies with some healthy fat—like the nuts/seeds and olive oil in this dip—gives our bodies a little absorption boost in the digestion and assimilation processes. That means that all those amazing nutrients going in are actually being put to good use.

In the Kitchen with Cauliflower

Although I love raw veggies, cauliflower is one that I prefer lightly steamed or cooked. I just won’t eat it if it’s in big, raw floret form. I know it’s probably not the most optimal nutrition package once cooked, but I figure cooked cauliflower is better than none at all. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy it:

  • Soup. It ain’t fancy, but it’s awfully convenient to throw some florets in chili or stew. I do the same thing with broccoli and kale.
  • Finely chopped in salads. I honestly don’t even notice it’s raw in this recipe.
  • Roasted. This might just be my favorite way to eat my cauli. Toss florets with olive oil and salt, then roast them for 15-20 minutes in a hot oven. Fast, easy, delicious.
  • Stir-fry it up, baby! Nothing is simpler than throwing a bunch of veggies in a pan with some coconut oil and stir-frying to your heart’s content. Cauliflower is a stir-fry superstar.
  • Mash and smash it. Surprisingly, mashed cauliflower (like this recipe, for instance) tastes surprisingly similar to mashed potatoes. I throw in finely chopped chives and garlic powder for flavor along with some coconut milk to make it extra creamy.

How do you get creative with cauliflower in the kitchen?

Easy No-Bean Hummus

Makes about 1  3/4 cups

2 cups raw cauliflower florets

1/2 cup (48 grams) blanched almond flour (or 1/2 cup ground raw sunflower seeds or cashews)

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

1/4 cup sesame tahini

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Place the cauliflower in a pot and add about 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer. Cover and steam for about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth, stopping several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


  1. Wow, great idea. I get lots of cauliflower in my CSA share and will put some to work making hummus, thanks to you and your creativity! I like cauliflower cut in thin slices and put on pizza along with thinly sliced beets. Then I top it all with the beet greens. Delicious!

  2. Melissa: Oh my, that pizza sounds SO good! Must try it sometime. :)

  3. What a brilliant idea?!? I never would have thought of making hummus without the beans. I’m not usually a fan of cauliflower, but if you say you can’t really taste it….I’m willing to give this a try! ;)

  4. Nancy Rush said on August 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks for this – can’t wait to try it! I can’t tolerate beans but love hummus…yay, finally an alternative!!

  5. Sounds fabulous! I like to make cauliflower rice- process rice until finelychopped, then heat a small amount of oil, season cauliflower with salt and cook in hot oil.

  6. I have an addiction to hummus. Don’t leave me alone with a spoon and a jar of it either! I have never thought to make hummus with cauliflower-you are always amazing me with your creative recipes!

  7. Yahoo! A great purpose for cauliflower! I can’t thank you enough for yet another gem of a perfect recipe .

  8. This looks yummy! Is there a substitute for the almond flour as I cannot have almonds.
    Thank you!

  9. Angie: Yes, you can use ground sunflower seeds in place of the almond flour. (Grind them first in the food processor or a spice grinder.)

  10. I love me some cauliflower… and love me some hummus… I wonder if I could be swayed with this one ;)

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