Hummus is one of my staple foods. It’s convenient, loaded with protein and fiber, and can be eaten any time of the day. I’ll add it to my avocado toast in the morning to make a more satiating breakfast, use it as a dip for veggies or pita for a healthy, filling snack, or spread it on a wrap filled with veggies for a portable lunch sandwich.
The good news is that hummus can be purchased almost anywhere these days. There are many brands and many different flavors including roasted red pepper, black garlic, and lime cilantro. In fact, there are a few companies which have started making dessert hummus.
Traditional Middle Eastern or Mediterranean hummus is made with garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and tahini (sesame seed butter). But you can now find “hummus” made with a variety of legumes such as black beans, edamame, yellow lentils, and even green peas.
Even though hummus is easily available, not all brands have an ideal texture or flavor. In fact, traditional hummus should be smooth and creamy, and not too dense. You should be able to taste the sesame from the tahini with hints of garlic and lemon. I’ve found that many store-bought brands, even though I buy them all the time for convenience, can be dense, and have flavors can be overpowering. Additionally, almost all contain added oils and preservatives.
It’s easy to make hummus at home. In fact, there are just a few basic ingredients including garbanzo beans, lemon, garlic, and tahini. You can add these to a food processor or high-speed blender along with salt, spices, and optionally a touch of high-quality olive oil, and you’ll quickly have your own hummus. While it’s delicious plain, you can also mix up the spices (I love adding harissa), or add your own roasted peppers, jalapeno peppers, or Kalamata olives. You can substitute black beans and make a southwestern flavored hummus or use edamame to make a more Asian inspired dip.
While the basic process is easy, I’ve learned that there are different techniques which can help to make the hummus smooth and creamy. Recently, the blog Cookie and Kate posted a great write-up on this. Some recommendations include boiling the beans with baking soda for 20 minutes to soften them up, blending the garlic with lemon and letting it rest for 10 minutes to soften the garlic bite, and choosing a high-quality tahini, ideally made from Ethiopian sesame seed. Another trick is to add a couple of tablespoons of ice-cold water to the mixture while blending.
No matter how you approach it, you’ll find that making hummus at home is easy and the result is delicious. For the most part, it’s always going to be better then what you buy at the store, and you get to control what goes inside! Although I usually modify most recipes, this one was perfect as is!
Find the original recipe on the Cookie and Kate blog.