Healthy Hummus Recipe

January 8, 2009

For me, the party’s over.  I mean the eat-pretty-much-whatever-is-in-front-of-me-food party of the last 3 weeks or so.  There was the Christmas party where I ate too much cheese and crackers, and the family Christmas where I ate too much of everything.  Then we have tons of leftover sweets and snacks that we just can’t toss, right?  Before you knew it, we had New Year’s Eve with it’s snack-fest, and New Year’s Day with cheesy buttery cornbread that was leftover to haunt me for days.

Now, the party’s over.  Whatever is left in the fridge goes in the freezer or the trash-o-rama.  It’s time to get back on track, and I’m actually looking forward to getting back to my usual disciplined plan of eating.  I think we all feel better when we’re eating healthfully; I know I do.

One of my go-to healthy recipes is hummus, and I’m really glad to know how good it is for us.  Chickpeas are full of protein and fiber, plus zinc, folate, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.  For vegetarians, hummus is an excellent source of protein, especially if you aren’t a fan of the meat analog products or soy in general.  The peas have a very negligible amount of fat, so the primary fats in this dish are the healthy fats from the small amounts of olive oil and tahini.

Bowl o' hummus loveliness!

Bowl o' hummus loveliness!

LilSis assures me that hummus is a snack and not a meal; and I know in her household of guys it would never suffice as a meal.  But for me it is frequently a weeknight meal, when combined with grape tomatoes, raw mushrooms and blanched asparagus as dippers.  My favorite basic recipe is very simple and very lemony and garlicky.  You can whip it up in a food processor or blender in just a few minutes.  The blender will give you a creamier texture, but the food processor works just fine.  This recipe will make a good size batch of hummus, but I find that it lasts really well in the fridge.

Bring on the pita chips!

Bring on the pita chips!

HUMMUS

(adapted from Veganomicon)

2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon for sauteeing
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
1/4 cup water, more or less
Seasonings to taste:  Penzey’s Lemon Pepper (healthy amount), Shallot Pepper, Toasted Onion Powder, and salt.

Saute the crushed garlic on very low heat in the 1 tablespoon olive oil for a few minutes, but don’t let it brown. Set aside when done.

Meanwhile, add half of the drained chickpeas to the blender or food processor, along with the olive oil, and pulse a few times until pureed.  Then add the rest of the chickpeas, the garlic/oil mixture, lemon juice, tahini, and seasonings.  Pulse again a few more times until the mixture is creamy, stopping to add a little water as needed to reach the texture you wish.  Store in the fridge.  The flavors improve after the hummus has chilled it’s heels for a while.

For a variation in flavors, add fresh herbs (chives, parsley, dill, etc.), sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, hot sauce, other dried seasonings (cumin or paprika, for example), or olives to the hummus.  Your imagination is your only limitation!  I want to try adding a bunch of roasted garlic next time.

I like to serve the hummus at room temperature with a drizzle of olive oil on top.  Healthy, filling, and delicious!

~BigSis

4 Comments so far

  1. Posted by bo

    January 14, 20099:38 am

    Your hummus looks really good. I have never tried to saute the garlic before – I always have put it in raw- I am going to try this out for a party this weekend. Cute dish too!

  2. Posted by Colleen

    January 20, 20091:06 pm

    Can you help me? I jsut made hummus but put everything in the blender without sauteing the onion and it is way to strong with the raw onions. Is there anyway to save it?

  3. Posted by BigSis

    January 20, 20097:44 pm

    Hi Bo! Raw garlic is a little too dominant and overpowering for me, so I like sauteing it to make it more mellow. Let me know if you try it this way. I got that dish at an estate sale!

  4. Posted by BigSis

    January 20, 20097:50 pm

    Hi Colleen, I’m glad you made the hummus, but I’m sorry you had a little complication with it! Did you use raw onions or raw garlic? I’ve never put onions in mine, although I think they would be good cooked. If your hummus has too strong of a garlic or onion flavor, you could try adding more chickpeas and lemon and olive oil to subdue it a little. Alternatively, I wonder if you could add a bit more water to it, and cook the hummus over low heat (to cook the strong flavor out) and make kind of a sauce for veggies? I haven’t tried it; just thinking out loud! I added a dollop of hummus to my cooked asparagus and mushrooms, and it was great. That’s why I thought of a veggie sauce. Good luck!

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