Thursday, November 3, 2011

Easy, Creamy and Healthy Hummus!

Drizzled with Olive Oil
I have loved hummus dip ever since I was a kid. I believe I was in 3rd grade the first time I ever tried this, pretty scary that I can remember the time. It was at school and a schoolmate used to bring in interesting snacks for snack time and I remember she let me try it. Of course I went home asking for hummus, and where does one get that in Plaistow, NH in 1989?? I actually remember walking through Purity Supreme (woah, blast from the past) with my mother and finding a can of tahini. Well, that my friends was only half the battle. We needed the hummus part, but could not find it for a while, maybe we just had no idea where to look at the time.

When it finally started becoming really popular and easy to find, I was in heaven. Then, even better, they started coming out with flavors such as roasted red pepper which happens to be my favorite along with original. The first time I ever made hummus was when I moved to Boston in 2002ish. I was, for the first time, living on my own and finally got to start cooking my favorite foods.

When I found my first recipe for hummus tahini dip I couldn't believe how easy it is to make my own, and now I rarely buy it from the store. Plus its healthier and you can make it to your own liking.

1 15 oz. can Chickpeas/Garbanzo or White Beans
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1-2 garlic cloves chopped
1/4 cup tahini sesame paste
1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
Olive oil

Drain the chickpeas, rinse and return to the can. Fill the can a little less than halfway with water and then pour this into the food processor. Place everything except for the oil in the food processor and let it go full speed for a minute or so. If you like yours chunky, then blend it less, if you are like me and like it very smooth then let it go for a while. If its really too thick start drizzling in the olive oil. You can also start by drizzling in some water first to loosen the paste and then a little oil later to cut out a lot of the fat content, but still end up with a creamy dip.

Also, I said the cumin was optional. I like it both with and without and have been making my hummus without cumin lately. You could also add a roasted red pepper to the mix, more garlic, lemon, cilantro etc. Anything you can think of that you like you can add. I like mine plain 85% of the time.

If you don't want to use chickpeas then use white cannelini beans, or you could even make a Halloween version by using black beans! The photo in this post was made using cannelini because it is what I had and tastes just as delicious!

Luckily the ingredients are very easy to find nowadays. Tahini paste can be found in almost all grocery stores, often times near the brined grape leaves, which often times are near the canned olives or near the specialty cheeses. I am lucky enough to live near a few arabic markets so that is where I get mine.

And lastly, once you make your own hummus and see how easy it is, you probably may never want to buy the mechanically made commercial goop. Its not bad once in a while, but believe me, making your own to suit your tastes is much more rewarding!

Please enjoy!

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