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Summertime Red Pepper, Chickpea, Hemp and Black Olive Spread

I keep trying to figure out ways to use hemp and pumpkin seeds because they’re both so healthy, but hemp sounds “sexier”, so it’s in the title here.  I read that hemp is the “next flax” because it’s another rich, rich source of essential fatty acids.  Ruth Shamai of Ruth’s Hemp Foods says, “So that’s one-third of its composition (essential fatty acids).  Another one-third consists mostly of fiber, both soluble and insoluble.  And it’s also one-third protein.”

As for pumpkin seeds, they were used medicinally in Native American medicine, primarily for the treatment of kidney, bladder, and digestive problems. From 1863 to 1936, the United States Pharmacopoeia listed pumpkin seeds as a treatment for intestinal parasites.  And although we don’t know how or why, we do know that pumpkin seeds ease urinary problems.  They also exhibit antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory properties.

Serve 4-6 with crudités

1 15-oz can Eden organic chickpeas 1 c oil cured pitted black  olives* like La Medina (in our frig)
2 c organic red bell pepper, large dice* 2 scallions, or ½ c red onion
4 cloves garlic 2 tb fresh basil or 1 tb dry basil
1 c organic pumpkin or hemp seeds 1 tb balsamic or apple cider vinegar
2 tb EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)

Put all ingredients in the workbowl of your food processor.  Using the steel blade, chop using the on/off pulsing technique to get a coarse-looking, interesting texture.  Don’t let processor run, because you’ll end up with mush!  Stop processor and taste.  Add Celtic or Himalayan salt to taste.

Serve with assorted crudités for company.  For a simple summer supper, I made this and ate it with avocado, fresh cucumber slices, and a wedge of purple cabbage.  Took me minutes to make, looked pretty on the plate, tasted good, and was good for me.

*Substitutions:  If you want a silkier texture, substitute roasted red peppers for fresh, raw ones.  And if you’re not an olive lover like I am, you could use marinated artichoke hearts or marinated sun-dried tomatoes instead of the olives.

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