Sunshine Spread



This dip was made in a desperate attempt to entice the sun from behind the thick, dark clouds. We’ve had a gloomy, grey winter and I’m getting a bit desperate for some sunshine. No, make that a lot desperate. It didn’t help that I saw this on the TV the other day either.

Instead of making chickpea hummus, I used yellow split peas. I know what you’re thinking – why on earth would someone make chickpea-free hummus? I know, the horrors. I do love my chickpeas. However, it’s the season of change (spring!) and I’m busting out these sunny yellow legumes just for the occasion.

It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve made a chickpea free hummus after all – see my red lentil hummus for a fun twist. This time I decided to give yellow split peas a whirl just to see what would happen.

chickpeafreehummussplitpea-2807 chickpeafreehummussplitpea-2811

After blending up cooked split peas with common hummus ingredients like tahini, garlic, lemon, and a touch of olive oil, I was in the midst of a dip that could easily be mistaken for the chickpea kind, at least based on outward appearances. Doesn’t this look just like regular hummus?


The taste is quite similar, although obviously not an exact replica – perhaps a bit more earthy. The split peas result in a much thicker hummus than most of us are familiar with, even with a hefty dose of water and a touch of oil added in during processing. This is probably a result of split pea’s high starch content. If you are after a super silky hummus, this probably isn’t the one for you.

After chilling in the fridge it firms up and becomes more spread-like in texture than dip-like. It’s great for spreading on crackers and wraps though. As with most hummus recipes, this one tastes better after it’s had time to sit for a few hours, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it straight from the bowl! I also took a note from my favourite hummus brand (Fontaine Santé) and added just a touch of white vinegar to give it a little zing.

Looking outside this morning, I think this dip may have worked!

Update @ 11:50am – it is now cloudy and snowing. Winter is a cruel beast.


Sunshine Spread

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Yield: around 2 cups

  • 3/4 cup uncooked yellow split peas
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 4-5 tbsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water, or as much as needed to thin out
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp fine grain sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar (optional)


1. Drain and rinse the split peas and add to a medium pot along with 2.5 cups water. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered for about 30-40 minutes (it took me 35 mins) until the peas are tender and the water is all absorbed.

2. Drop a garlic clove into the processor and mince. Add the rest of the ingredients (to taste), along with the cooked split peas, and process until smooth. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed. I like to let the processor run for a good 2 minutes to get it as smooth as possible.

3. Chill in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavours to develop. This dip will firm up in the fridge so you can just enjoy as is or pop it back into the processor with a bit more oil to smooth it out.

Nutritional Info

chickpeafreehummussplitpea-2827 chickpeafreehummussplitpea-2832

For those of you in Northern climates, I hope you’ll enjoy this comic as much as I did (via 86 Lemons and How Does She – original comic from Sarahlcomics)


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{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy @ FoodWineThyme March 21, 2013

What a great name for this spread. I love lentils. I have to try making your recipe step by step. I attempted to make lentils “hummus” once before and it was a disaster. This is beautiful and I bet it was extra delicious.


Brittany March 21, 2013

This looks delicious! Must try this Spring


janet @ the taste space March 21, 2013

Yes, I could spring right about now. I’ve made a great Ethiopian split pea puree and this one sounds like it could be just as nice. Gotta mix up the beans, otherwise I’d eat chickpeas all the time! :)


Annie March 21, 2013

Mmmmm, I actually love alternative hummus! This would taste so good with socca (chick pea flatbread) without overdosing on chick peas (although I don’t even know if that’s possible…) :-p


Abby @ The Frosted Vegan March 21, 2013

I need some sunshine in my life, thanks for making my day a little sunnier!


Sara March 21, 2013

Not only does your recipe look amazing, but I had to laugh so hard with that last comic! Specifically “That day in March where it’s really warm and you get irrationally optimistic”. It was Exactly like that over here, a nice and warm day, longing for skirts and summer dresses, and two days later it was snowing.


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 21, 2013

yes! It happens every year, lol.


Abby @ Change of Pace March 21, 2013

I’m in need of some sunshine spread! Looks delicious.
Ha ha- love the comic at the bottom! We had a snowstorm this weekend. It’s flurrying like crazy again, and we’re supposed to get 10cm today. After six months of snow this year, bring on sunshine and spring!!!


Lillian @Seize the Latte March 21, 2013

This recipe sounds fantastic! I love variations on regular hummus (especially ones that evoke the idea of sunshine) — and since this one is a bit thicker, the idea of using it as a spread in a wrap is awesome.

And oh, that comic! It’s so very true, and this March is kind of killing me. Even here in DC — which *should* be all spring-like now, given our obnoxiously hot summers — it’s wintry and frickin’ freezing. Our wind chill today was somewhere in the 20s, and my face started going numb while I waited for the bus this morning. It’s seriously, profoundly not okay. Warm temperatures and sunshine can’t come soon enough!


Carol March 21, 2013

I have to try this today! We just had a snow storm two days ago and another one coming in tonight. Really desperate for sunshine and this recipe is just what I need to dip my veggies.


Caitlin March 21, 2013

what a great idea, lady! philly could use some sunshine hummus right about now.


Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} March 21, 2013

Yum! Such a fun idea.


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 21, 2013

Haha – we had that day in March this weekend. Now it’s back to being cold… and I’m in the South! Ugh.

That said, just reading the title of this post made me smile. I’m ready for picnic with dips and sunshine!


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar March 21, 2013

This looks lovely!


Alexandra @ Lean Green Healthy Machine March 21, 2013

NYC could use some sunshine today! We had “that day in March” last week..such a tease!
I have never used yellow split peas before, this is definitely a great excuse to explore! I’m curious if green split peas would create the same taste? (although not a traditional hummus-y look)
Love all of your creative recipes!!


kirsten lee March 21, 2013

This sounds great. I adore split peas and lentils. I love your season picture. I live in North Dakota, more like southern Canada, so I’m begging for a real spring too!


Aly @ Return to the Root March 21, 2013

Wow, what a great new way to use yellow split peas! I’m just bursting onto the split pea scene (I made an amazing/easy green split pea soup the other week) and I will definitely give this a shot sometime in the near future :)



Kelly March 21, 2013

This looks and sounds amazing! :)


The Vegan Cookie Fairy March 21, 2013

Haha – “that one sunny day in March when you get irrationally optimistic” Yep, that’s me. I took out my summer wardrobe on that day and the next day it snowed.


Catherine March 21, 2013

Chickpea (traditional) will always be my favorite, but I do love edamame hummus and want to try your red lentil dip. Add this sunshine spread to the list, too!
That graphic makes me laugh, but in coastal Alabama, you’d reverse “summer” & “winter” and that little sliver of March would be the single day in October when you’re first able to break out the scarves & boots, only to run the air conditioner the next day! (Seriously, it’s happened before.)
Hope you get to experience real sunshine soon!


Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) March 21, 2013

I love the idea of using yellow split peas instead of chickpeas! The comic is so funny! I totally had that day in March two weekends ago. It was so nice out I ran in leggings, a t shirt and a vest and I was a little too hot. Now its freezing and snowy again… oh well!


Sarina @ Earthgiven Kitchen March 21, 2013

I love the name of the spread, sunshine is just what we need in Ontario right now! Great idea to sub the chickpeas for yellow split peas. Love the comic too. :)


Jessica March 21, 2013
Angela (Oh She Glows) March 21, 2013

thanks, adding it in!


Sarah @ Yogi in Action March 21, 2013

I will definitely be making this recipe- and I hope we get some sunshine as a result too.

I love the comic with March- we had that day in February- it was +4 and people were walking around in t-shirts and a couple of patios even opened! Now it’s -10 and we’re expecting 10 cm of snow today. I need some sunshine and warmth too!


Christa @ Edible Balance March 21, 2013

Oh man, that comic is SPOT on! If my birthday wasn’t in March I’d want to write it off completely… such a tease! I’m so ready for actual spring weather.

This looks like a great recipe, it definitely has brightened my day! I’ve had some issues with chickpeas lately, I need to give this a try for sure!


Tatomme @Fresh Potater March 21, 2013

Mmm I have had the lentil hummus that Summer Fresh makes and it was amazing… It is almost creamier and dare I say cheezier than chickpea hummus! I can only imagine how good this one is…Must make soon. And yes, I just walked home on the second day of spring in yet another snow fall! PLEASE. STOP. NOW…. But maybe this will save our apple blossoms this year?


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 21, 2013

I agree about the red lentil hummus…when I made it I couldn’t get over how creamy it was! Need to make it again soon.


Anele @ Success Along the Weigh March 21, 2013

That does look like a nice little bowlful o’ sunshine right there, doesn’t it?

I had to laugh at your pie chart at the bottom…mmm, pie….huh?…oh yeah. It’s snowing here today and people are totally TICKED off, griping on FB, Twitter, wherever they can and it’s like “hello!!! On the first day of winter were there sleighs on the streets dashing through the snow? No. First day of the new season does not mean brand new weather!” But we had one 73 degree day 2 weeks ago and everyone declared winter a distant memory. So I got a chuckle out of the “irrationally optimistic” part of the chart. :)


Averie @ Averie Cooks March 21, 2013

The dip/spread sounds great! I never would have thought to use split peas in it. Interesting that they’re that much thicker than chickpeas. The last vertical pic make me want to dig into this dip!


Sonal March 21, 2013

Sunshine hummus! I need some of that please :) It looks delicious !


Jess @ Keeping It Real Food March 21, 2013

This looks so good! I love yellow split peas in soup but never thought to use them for hummus. Thanks for the inspiration!


Dawn@Florida Coastal Cooking March 21, 2013

What a great alternative to the standard hummus. I’m all about lentils lately so I’m thinking of doing a lentil hummus!


Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl March 21, 2013

What a clever idea!! Though I must admit, I am a major chickpea lover :).


Joshua Hampton (Cooking Classes San Diego) March 21, 2013

Your yellow split pea hummus doesn’t really look different from regular hummus at all. But you’ve made me curious as to how this tastes like, and I’m definitely trying it out.


Alexis @ Hummusapien March 21, 2013

If this tastes anything like hummus made with chickpeas, I know I’ll be in love :) It’s freeeeeezing here so I could use some sunshine in my life!


Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health March 21, 2013

That comic was pretty funny! I have never lived in a northern climate so I can’t relate. I never realized how long winter lasted in the the north until I started reading blogs. Crazy! This hummus sounds so good. I wonder what the protein difference is from split peas to chickpeas?


Kim @ Cooking in the City March 21, 2013

Oh, yum! I was planning on making your Endurance Crackers soon- this would be a good accompaniment.


Ali @ Project Kale March 21, 2013

I absolutely love hummus in all flavors – but this is such a creative twist! Can’t wait to try it!


Carmen March 21, 2013

It really feels like Spring is never going to come. I live in Kansas City (MO) and it is snowing and all I want is to feel sunshine on my face and drive with the windows down.


Christine @ Gotta Eat Green March 21, 2013

Looks awesome! Seriously, how depressing is this weather? Winter is over!! Commmon sunshine!


Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} March 21, 2013

I adore alternative hummuses? hummi? Love the name, Sunshine Spread, it is definitely what I need right now.

I saw that comic on 86Lemons yesterday and thought it was hilarious. We had that one warm day on 3/10, it was 66 degrees! Ever since we’ve had snow and cold, brr!


nicole March 21, 2013

Yep, in Wisconsin we had a fun day where it seemed potentially pre-springlike, with weather in the mid- to high-30s. Now it’s back to being 7-10* F/ -12 to -13* C with snow on the ground.

I can’t wait for actual spring, in which the weather is warm and there is no snow.


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