Life before hummus seems so very long ago…
Hummus & veg is such a staple in my diet nowadays, it’s hard to even recall the days BHE (before hummus era).
If you’re new to this hummus craze, take my advice- join me and never look back. Hummus is basically everything. Dare I say hummus is life? I just might.
Okay, in all seriousness, hummus is a delightful dip/spread which is commonly considered a Greek/Mediterranean dish. However, the true origin of the dish is not totally clear. Hummus has been consumed in the diet of Middle Eastern and North African countries for many years, and historic records suggest hummus was first consumed in Egypt. Whatever the case, all of these people had it right, because hummus is delicious!
The word ‘hummus’ is the Arabic word for chickpea, which is the main ingredient.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a legume which are high in protein and fiber. And let’s be honest, we are not getting enough fiber in our diet. Not to mention, half a cup of boiled chickpeas will give us about 7.5 grams of protein. That’s more than 1 large boiled egg!
Also, don’t be scared of the carb content in these bad boys! Chickpeas come in the form of a complex carbohydrates, which the body breaks down and utilizes for energy much more efficiently than simple carbs. Chickpeas (like many other beans and legumes) actually help to balance and stabilize blood sugar levels. AKA no spike and crash. Sustained energy for the win!
Clearly it’s safe to say I’ve purchased a lot of hummus in my life. I’ve also made a lot of hummus at home. It tastes better (if I do say so myself) and guess what- making it yourself is WAY cheaper. Dried chickpeas are insanely inexpensive. And if you’re not into cooking the beans yourself, canned chickpeas work just fine. (I like Eden Organic brand because they actually soak their chickpeas with seaweed, which is known to reduce the gaseous quality of beans… Cool right?).
Now, let’s discuss the KEY to making perfect hummus. There are actually two:
- LOTS of tahini. I’ve found that an abundance of tahini gives the hummus a really rich, creamy texture, and a great taste. I used half a cup in this recipe. All the power to you if you decide to use (way) more. P.S., tahini is a paste created from ground and often toasted sesame seeds. Also known as sesame paste or sesame butter. (Think peanut butter but sesame seed butter).
- Reserve and utilize the cooking liquid. Save some of the water you used to cook the chickpeas in, or the liquid you drained off the chickpeas out of the can. It really adds to the perfect consistency and texture of the hummus.
So, there you have it! Below is the recipe I’ve developed for my fave hummus. Start here and add/subtract, increase/reduce ingredients to your liking. Trust me, you won’t be complaining about all the recipe testing. 😉
Health Starts Today Hummus
- 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas*
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water from cooking chickpeas or from chickpea can
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
Place tahini, lemon juice, and cooking water in a food processor** and blend for 1-2 minutes, until creamy.
Add spices and garlic, continue processing until combined.
Next, add in the chickpeas and blend.
Lastly, add the olive oil, drizzling into the processor as it runs.
I topped mine with a pinch of paprika, some parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil. I also pictured carrot sticks and Mary’s crackers (super clean crackers). You can dip with or spread on whatever you like. Simply cut up some veggie sticks and dig in!
* Note on chickpeas- you can deskin them if you wish/ are patient enough. Some say it creates a smoother hummus, my jury is still out on that one. Personally, I very rarely bother deskinning.
** You can use a high speed blender for this as well. I prefer a food processor as it’s easier to scrape all out the hummus after.
This is a base recipe for hummus. You can create different flavours by adding in some sun dried tomatoes or roasted red pepper. If you get crazy and add in some caramelized onion… please share!!! Hehe. Happy hummusing.
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