Nourishing Vegan Beet Dip with Hemp Hearts
This silky beet dip made with tahini, hemp hearts and balsamic vinegar will WOW your friends because it’s absolutely gorgeous and richly flavourful. Bonus: it comes together effortlessly in the blender with just a few ingredients!
What’s the one veggie you don’t eat as often as you’d like…and why is it beets?!?
There are SO many incredible ways to enjoy beets: sweet and earthy roasted beets are a forever fave whether on their own, or tossed with vegan yogurt for a refreshing beet yogurt bowl. And their bold flavour pairs surprisingly well with tart raspberries in a smoothie bowl.
They’re also really delicious raw…I have an incredible beet “ravioli” recipe in Good For Your Gut cookbook.
I know, I know…beets can be a wee bit messy. And they can take a little time to cook. But this gorgeous beetroot dip will ease your doubts because I’ve included A) an option for using pre-cooked beets and B) an option for making beets roast faster!
And it’s SO WORTH IT: this cold beet dip is the most gorgeous colour and so, so flavourful. It makes eating your veggies an absolute joy…which is good, because beets are one vegetable that seems to grow easily for this novice gardener so I always seem to have them on hand.
I threw a party recently and served this dip with some crackers and sliced veggies and everyone kept commenting on it, so I am so excited to share it with you! My dietitian heart loves creating plant-based recipes that make you excited to eat more plants.
This cold beet dip isn’t a hummus…but it does contains a bit of creamy tahini! The base is actually hemp hearts…and I promise, no one will suspect this is a “healthy” dip, it’s that good. I make a lot of recipes with hemp hearts because in my mind, there is no better way to add a sneaky dose of omega 3 fatty acids to your recipes along with a boost of plant-based protein and vital minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium!
I love this dip at parties but it’s an equally good meal prep for snacks throughout the week. You could even toss leftovers with noodles or pasta, drizzle over a grain bowl or use as a spread for wraps and sandwiches.
(You have no idea how hard I’ve been trying to not drop of bunch of silly beet puns into this blog post. DJ, drop the beet!! Okay. I had to. Because I am a total nerd!)
Grab these 6 simple ingredients and make beetroot dip!
I love those recipes where a few simple ingredients become WAY more than the sum of their parts. Along with a bit of oil if you’re roasting the beets and some salt, all you need is 6 easy ingredients to make this gorgeous dip.
- Beets: you can either roast fresh beets or buy precooked beets…your choice! If buying fresh, look for plump, firm beets. You can totally use golden beets here too if that’s what you’ve got, their colour would be pretty too.
- Garlic: if you are roasting, use as much garlic as you want to give this dip a rich flavour. If using raw garlic, keep it to one medium clove, unless you’re looking to ward off the vampires!
- Hemp seeds: nutrient-dense hemp seeds are so packed with omega 3 fatty acids, protein and iron and they completely disappear into the dip when you blend them!
- Tahini: creamy, savoury tahini adds a richness to the dip along with more minerals, including calcium. Allergic to sesame? Try a bit of sunflower seed butter.
- Lemon juice and balsamic vinegar: The earthy notes in the beets and tahini need a good amount of acid to brighten things up. I use a blend of balsamic for flavour and lemon juice for a light freshness.
How to make this incredible vegan beet dip
You’ve got two options for this delicious dip: you can either roast fresh beets for a richer flavour or you can buy precooked beets and make this dip in 5 minutes flat! It all comes together in the blender so it’s easy peasy.
Step one: if you’re roasting beets, do that first! I’ve got detailed instructions on how to roast beets, and in the recipe card below a hack so they’ll take about 20 minutes instead of 40.
Step two: place the beets, along with ¼ cup water and the rest of the ingredients in the blender and blend until silky smooth. If needed, add extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a silky texture.
Why beets are so, so good for you
Beets don’t get the attention they deserve…and they are absolutely PACKED with nutrition benefits! Let the dietitian remind you that all plants are good plants: don’t overlook beets!
- Their deep red colour is your clue that beets contain a lot of plant pigments with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties like betalains and flavonoids.
- Beets contain fibre for healthier digestion, about 2 g of fibre per ½ cup cooked, as well as folate for building blood cells and smaller amounts of minerals like iron, copper, manganese and magnesium.
- Beets also contain organic nitrate, which is converted into nitric oxide in the body. For this reason, beets have been studied for their potential to improve blood flow, supporting healthy blood pressure and even athletic performance as part of a healthy diet.
Beet dip: tips, tricks and substitutions
I love this beetroot dip because it’s A) so easy to make and B) so versatile…there are a ton of ways to serve it!
- This dip keeps well, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days in the fridge. It makes a big batch but you can absolutely make a half recipe if you think you won’t use it all.
- Want some serving ideas? This dip is gorgeous on it’s own…but it also looks cute with a sprinkle of chopped nuts or seeds (try walnuts!) or salad topper mix. Another idea: spread the dip onto a shallow platter and top with roasted chickpeas as an appetizer with some pita or sourdough bread!
- You can also use this as a sandwich spread if you blend it a little thicker. Try omitting the water and add only what is necessary to make a more thick hummus-like spread.
- Want to make this faster? You can absolutely use precooked beets! One note, when making this with the Love Beets brand, I find the beets have less pigment and this dip takes on a paler pink colour instead of vibrant fucshia (see photo comparison above). Still delicious!
- Want to switch up the flavour? Try swapping za’atar for the balsamic.
More yummy cold vegan dips
- Vegan White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Dip
- Fast vegan spinach dip (nut free!)
- Edamame Sesame Dip with Miso
- Creamy 3-Minute Vegan Avocado Sauce
Nourishing Vegan Beet Dip with Hemp Hearts
For Roasted Beets
- 1 pound fresh beets, or about 3 cups pre-cooked beets
- 2 large cloves garlic, skin on, stick to 1 medium peeled clove if not roasting!
- 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil, omit if not roasting
- ½ cup hemp hearts
- ¼ cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon salt, plus more for roasting
- freshly cracked pepper
- ¼ cup water, plus more as needed for silky texture
- High Speed Blender
- If roasting the beets: preheat oven to 400℉ (205℃). Prep a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Wash, peel and cut beets into 1/2 inch (1 cm) chunks. Place on prepared baking sheet and toss with oil and garlic cloves, plus some salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes, until beets are fork tender. Set aside for a few minutes so they're safe to handle.
- Place beets into a high speed blender with garlic (squeeze roasted garlic out of peel!), hemp hearts, tahini, lemon juice, balsamic and 3/4 tsp (3 mL) salt. Add 1/4 cup water and blend, starting on low, increasing to medium and medium high as it blends, for a total of 1-2 minutes. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time as necessary for a silky dip.
- Serve as is, or with desired toppings for a cute appetizer (see ideas in blog post!). Leftovers keep in fridge for 3-4 days. A bit of separation is normal, just stir and eat.