Retreat Recipes: Nancy's Hearty Hummus

One of the foundational things that supports women (well, everyone) in maintaining optimal and balanced mental, physical and emotional energy is nutrition. Given life’s demands on our attention and our ever-increasing pace of life it is not surprising that many women can find themselves depleted and in a space of hormonal imbalance, pain, mental and physical exhaustion and emotional reactivity.

Eating mindfully for sustained energy is a tremendous gift you can give yourself that will support you in being the best version of yourself.

A significant component of the Phoenix-Hearted Woman retreats is the concept of self-care and managing our energy for resilience. Therefore, we include at each of our retreats nourishing food to help us replenish our mental and physical energy and support the maintenance of health. At this winter’s REVITALIZE retreat, we crafted a hearty and warming retreat menu that would give us sustained energy for all the learning, thinking and yoga activities we were engaging in.

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Nancy’s Hearty Hummus

Hummus is as nutritious and versatile as it is easy: throw everything into the blender/food processor and you’re good to go. It goes great as a dip or a sandwich spread. What makes this hummus uniquely tasty is the extra blending for a lighter, fluffier hummus and the addition of paprika.

Vegan, Gluten-free

Serves 8-10

Note: we used organic foods if available


1-3 cloves garlic (roasted or sautéd first for less bite)
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed (bigger can: 540ml, 19oz)*
2-4 tbsp cold water (as needed)
1/3 cup tahini (aka, sesame seed paste)**
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice***
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, plus some for garnish (optional)****
Salt & pepper to taste

Other options for garnish: roasted garlic, roasted red peppers, paprika, drizzle of olive oil, ground sumac, parsley, splash of hot sauce.


1. Put the garlic into a blender or food processor until well-chopped.

2. Add rinsed garbanzo beans and blend for several minutes until it gets creamy, scraping the sides and adding water as needed. Then keep blending for 2 more minutes (this makes the finished product nice and light).

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add salt, pepper, and/or lemon to taste.


*The equivalent of cooked and well-rinsed garbanzo beans would work too: about two heaping cups.

**If you have the time, DIY tahini is much cheaper—and easier to get.

The DIY version probably won’t be quite as creamy, depending on the ability of your food processor/blender and whether or not you can get un-hulled sesame seeds (the paler ones). 1 cup of sesame seeds will yield about a half cup of tahini.

Toast sesame seeds on the stovetop over medium-low heat in a dry frying pan (so you can keep an eye on them—they burn quickly). Stir constantly until they darken slightly and release their fragrance. When cool, put them into a blender/food processor and pulse until they form a paste. Add a little lightly-flavoured oil (1-3 tbsp) until the mixture smooths out.

***If lemons are out of season or unavailable, apple cider vinegar will work in a pinch.

****If fresh cilantro isn’t available, use 1/2 tsp of dried powdered coriander is a fair substitute.