A couple days ago I got a real craving for hummus. I remember I first heard about hummus when I was in college and my friend Alisha from Alaska was always talking about how much she loved it. I always thought it sounded weird and I don’t think I ever even tried it until I was out of college. What is hummus anyway? Well it’s a Middle Eastern dip or spread composed of chickpeas, tahini paste, lemon juice and garlic. It’s typically served with warm pita bread, but can also be served with vegetables or eaten as a spread on a sandwich.
I love hummus which is great because it’s really, really good for you! Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are a great source of protein and fiber. Tahini paste is made from sesame seeds, which are also a good source of protein and Vitamin E. The nutritional value of hummus can go up or down depending on what you serve it with. White pita bread would not be the best choice (albeit very yummy). Whole wheat pita bread or flat bread would be better, but the best choice would be veggies. I like hummus with baby carrots or sliced bell peppers. That combo makes a great snack. Hummus is also great on a sandwich or in a pita pocket instead of mustard or mayo. Replacing mayo with hummus would greatly improve the nutritional value of your sandwich.
Although prepared hummus can be purchased at almost any grocery store, it is super easy to make at home and takes approximately five minutes. All you need is a can of chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic and tahini paste. The first three ingredients can be purchased at any regular grocery store. Tahini paste however is a bit harder to find. I buy it at my local Whole Foods and I’m sure you could find it at any health food store or specialty grocery store.
To make hummus you’ll need a food processor or blender. I use the Magic Bullet. Yes the thing from the infomercial. It actually works really well and I love that I can put all the pieces in the dishwasher. I use it quite frequently!
Makes approximately 1 ½ cups
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
¼ cup reserved juice from canned chickpeas, or chicken or veggie broth
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp tahini paste
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste.
Throw all ingredients into your food processor and combine until smooth. Serve with pita bread or veggies. Store in the refrigerator.
I think that homemade hummus tastes better after you leave it in the refrigerator for a day. The flavors really develop more and to me it tastes better when it’s cold. If you are planning to take hummus to a party, definitely make it the day before.
I made this recipe last night and packaged it up into three snack packs so I can take it to work with me for my lunch or an afternoon snack. I love my ½ cup Gladware containers. They are the perfect size for homemade snack packs.
Excuse my lame picture here as my kitchen is destroyed and I have about a two foot wide counter space to work with.
So is it worth it? YES! Three words – cheap, easy, healthy. It doesn’t get much better.