What a strange word. For some unknown reason, when I hear the word hummus, I think compost. I have no idea why. The words don’t even sound alike. I must admit it doesn’t sound too appetizing but don’t let the sound turn you off because you are in for a real treat with this delicious vegan spread. So much so that you are going to want to know for yourself how to make hummus from scratch.
What really is hummus
Hummus is a rich, healthy food that originated in the Middle East. We think of Mediterranean diet and already hummus starts to sound like something healthy. It is a spread or dip made from chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic and lemon juice. (And just in case you are not familiar with tahini, it is a Middle Eastern paste or spread made from ground sesame seeds.)
Although chickpeas is considered the staple ingredient of hummus it is now common to see other beans or vegetables being substituted for the chickpeas.
How do you eat it
When you think hummus, you think sandwich spread, pita bread, vegetable dip, chips dip….
- Spread it on your bread and crackers and eat (just like how you would use cheese spread)
- Making a sandwich? Substitute hummus for mayonnaise. It is much healthier.
- Pita bread and hummus go hand in hand (or that should be hummus in pocket). Before you pack all those yummy vegetables inside your pita pocket, just spread some delicious hummus over the insides.
- Those carrots and celery sticks that you have in hand are just begging for a dip (literally).
- Hummus is a lovely dip for your chips as well.
- Do you love mashed potatoes but have to cut back on butter because your cholesterol is on the high side? Well have no fear, hummus is there.
Don’t like chickpeas?
If you are not a fan of chickpeas, you don’t have to be excluded from the happy hummus club.
Although chickpeas is really the original main ingredient, it is now common to see white bean hummus, lentil hummus, beet hummus, black bean hummus…….the options are many and varied.
When we buy spreads and dips we tend to find that they are usually high in fats and probably has a high salt or sugar content. They are not always the healthiest of foods.
Not so with hummus.
Hummus is high in protein and fiber, low in fat and typically contains no sugar. The fat that it does contain is healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Eating these types of fats may help improve blood cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease and help control blood sugar,
Hummus also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
That’s a powerhouse of nutrition in a simple spread.
Make Hummus from scratch
While it is convenient to just pick up a container of hummus at the grocers, you might just throw that practice out the window when you realize how ridiculously easy it is to make hummus at home.
There are also benefits to making your own hummus;
- You can whip up a batch any time you want and for any occasion.
- You are in control of what goes into your hummus. For example, if you are on a low salt diet, you can decrease or eliminate the salt from the recipe. It’s totally in your hands how much of what you add.
- You can experiment to your hearts content. Who says you can only use chickpeas in your hummus? Yes, that is the original main ingredient but you won’t be breaching any great cooking policy if you try something else like beet or split pea.
The basic hummus recipe is super simple.
Chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic and lemon juice whizzed together in your food processor. Now how easy is that?
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp tahini (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
How to Make It
In a rich, healthy food processor, add the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini (if using), cumin, and salt and whiz them all together until smooth and creamy. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water if needed to achieve the desired consistency.
Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the paprika before serving.
Even the most challenged of persons in the kitchen will admit that hummus is pretty easy to make.
It is so simple to do that I can just imagine that in no time at all you are going to want to experiment with the recipe. Well go right ahead and experiment to your heart’s content.
To give you a little head start, you can try this.
Toss about 3 to 4 large carrots with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes at 400F, or until tender and browning along the edges. I know you might be tempted to just eat the lovely roasted carrots. In the event that you are able to resist the temptation, add them to your hummus ingredients above (chickpea, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic…)
Whiz them all together in your food processor and enjoy delicious roasted carrot hummus.
Do you still want more?
Then check out these 4 easy hummus recipes by Tasty.
What do you think of hummus? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments section below.