I HOPE Hummus

I was invited to visit Hope Foods, maker of the incredibly fresh and delicious Hope Hummus, in Louisville, Colorado. I’ve seen the name around for a few years now, but I can’t recall ever purchasing one of their products before. I knew that they started selling hummus at the Boulder County Farmers Market, and I knew they’d expanded and were on shelves in a number of our local grocers, but that’s the most I could have told you before last week. Now I could talk your ear off about what a great local company they are and how Hope Hummus should be your hummus of choice if you’re not making it from scratch at home. It will certainly be my go-to when I’m not following Chef Mike Solomonov’s recipe, which is a very traditional Israeli hummus. In fact, I was so inspired by my visit to Hope Foods that I’ll likely tweak chef Solomonov’s recipe the next time I make it.

~Inspiration to create new flavors of garbanzo bean spread~ That’s what came to me on our media party at Hope Foods. We were given two bowls of hummus, a “regular” or savory one and a sweet one that was sweetened with agave syrup. There was a table of ingredients full of spices, herbs, jams, nut butters, pumpkin, roasted peppers, lemons, limes, coconut flakes, goji berries…you name it and it was likely on a table for us to mix our own flavored hummus.

Hope Hummus

I added pumpkin puree, curry powder, cayenne pepper, turmeric powder, lemon juice, fresh thyme and ground black pepper to my savory bowl. Then mixed it all together and scooped it into a Ball jar labeled for A Bolder Table, which was a nice touch :)

 

 

 

Next up was the sweet hummus, which I wasn’t really sure what I’d enjoy, so I kept it simple: Almond butter and blackberry jam.

Hope Hummus

This combination would go really well on toast, and I would have NEVER thought of sweetening hummus on my own, so I’m inspired to try a variety of combinations in the future.

 

 

 

 

After mixing up some unique spreads, we were given a tour of the 15,000 square foot hummus factory, and learned that Hope Foods doesn’t make a ton of hummus and store it until an order comes in. They make hummus to order, so there’s a two day turn-around time from when they make the hummus to when it’s loaded on a truck for delivery. That’s FRESH in my opinion. It’s also Cold Pressure Prepped, which means it needs neither preservatives nor high heat to ensure each batch is safe from pathogens, bacteria, and mold. Another important detail that sets them apart from their competitors is adding olive oil rather than canola oil to their hummus. In short, Hope Foods makes fresh hummus using as few ingredients as they can without skimping on ingredient quality to produce a large quantity of food. I can stand behind that.

An operation that started with a group of friends making hummus in a commissary kitchen and selling it at the farmers market now employs 30+ people and makes more than ten different flavors of hummus. In my opinion, this company is doing everything right, and I am proud to have them as a local producer here in Colorado. I hope they continue to spread good things.

 

 

 

 

 

Move over Pop Corn- Lotus Seeds are in Town.

There’s a new snack food in town, and since my town is Boulder, CO, you know that snack food is healthy, or healthier, than most choices.

Popped Lotus is a new company making popped lotus seed snacks. I received a small sample in the mail and said if I enjoyed the product, I’d write about it. Well, I enjoyed it so much I devoured a bag and a half before stopping to take a photo.

Popped Lotus

I had no idea that you could pop lotus seeds like popcorn, toss them in butter, salt, and spices, and create somewhat healthy snack. The puffy balls have a thin, crunchy exterior, a light, pillowy interior, and just enough salt to have you reaching for another handful. A quick calorie check and your mind is at ease… you can have the whole bag!

Popped Lotus provides a writeup of the benefits of eating lotus seeds, which you can read here.  They currently offer two varieties- Sea Salt and Spicy Mango. I honestly enjoyed them both, but would suggest picking up a bag of the Spicy Mango if you like things with a kick.

I hope Popped Lotus does well. They have a great concept and are in the perfect town for this dare I say gluten free snack. So, put down that processed Pirate Booty and treat yourself to a less processed alternative: The Lotus Seed.

Tostones

Ahhh… Tostones. I love tostones. I love saying the word. I love eating them. They bring a smile to my face.
I thinly sliced one large plantain and pan fried it in approximately 1/4 cup peanut oil until they were nicely browned on both sides. Drain on a few paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt, and enjoy. I had mine with Black Beans and Carrots with Guacamole for a simple, fast meal.

Garlic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Simple ingredients:
  • Udi’s Multigrain Bread
  • Tillamook White Cheddar… as much as you like
  • grated asiago… as much as you like
  • grated garlic… might not use as much as you think you might like…
  • butter (for the pan, of course)

I grated a clove of garlic on my ginger grater. You might consider using a small clove, or even half of one if you don’t want to wake up the next day with the lingering taste of garlic in your mouth!
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