Thursday, March 13, 2014

To Hummus or Not to Hummus...

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I've found hummus to be a somewhat polarizing snack.  People generally love it or hate it.  I am firmly in the "loving it" group when it comes to hummus, however it can get pretty expensive to buy the ready-made stuff at my local supermarket.

In my ever-evolving quest to find healthy mid-afternoon snacks that keep me from turning into a ravenous wolverine around 4pm, I decided to finally start making the stuff myself! 

I am literally kicking myself for not making hummus at home sooner.  Could it really be any easier?!  I even used dried chickpeas (they were on sale) and even with the additional prep of soaking and cooking the beans, it was still incredibly simple.

At 132 calories per 1/4 cup serving (this varies depending on what kind of olive oil you use), 2 tbsp. with some baby carrots mid-afternoon makes me very happy in the snacking department!  My toddler even likes it when I spread a little on her quesadilla for lunch and any way I can get additional protein and nutrients to be accepted by her picky palate is a win.

Have you tried making hummus at home?  What are some of your favorite mix-ins?  I love the classic garlic and lemon hummus, but roasted red pepper might be my favorite.  It's really great to sprinkle a few toasted pine nuts on top for an additional nutty crunch too. 

This recipe is tahini-free, mostly because only one grocery store in my area carries tahini paste and it isn't in my usually errand-running path.  I plan on picking some up soon and experimenting more with my hummus recipe to see if its worth adding the tahini.

Tahini-Free Classic Hummus


4 cups chickpeas (if using dried, see note below)
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice
Up to 1 cup water
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
Optional: ¼ cup sundried tomatoes OR roasted red peppers 

Remove the skins from your chickpeas by gently pinching them until the skin comes off. You can skip this step if you’re not using canned chickpeas. Removing the skins helps making your hummus nice and smooth.

Add the chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor, then add in the garlic, olive oil, ½ cup water and a healthy pinch of salt. Puree until very smooth, adding more water and stirring as needed to get the right consistency.

Once the mixture is well-combined you can stream in a little more olive oil to help get that really creamy texture. This would also be the time to add in the sundried tomatoes or roasted red peppers if you’re using them.

Refrigerate and serve with raw veggies, crackers, pita chips, or spread on sandwiches.

* Note: If you’re using dried chickpeas (which I like to do), follow these instructions below before making your hummus.

  1. Soak chickpeas overnight in the fridge in a bowl of cold water. Make sure the water completely covers the chickpeas by at least 2-3 inches.
  2. Drain chickpeas, and then add to a large pot. Fill with water, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. baking soda. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 45-60 minutes.
  3. Drain completely and cool before assembling your hummus. 

I usually make a double batch of hummus because it is freezable. This recipe works perfectly doubled. Just do separate batches in your food processor if it isn’t big enough to accommodate doubling the recipe. I freeze the hummus in gallon zip-top bags and thaw in the fridge. Once thawed, stir the hummus well and add a little more olive oil if it seems dry. Should keep 1-2 weeks in the fridge and you can keep it in the freezer for up to a year.


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