Hummus is the perfect appetizer, dip, energy booster, post workout snack, and addition to almost any meal. Sometimes I even put it on top of my black beans and rice, for a little extra creamy richness. It’s really good for you. It’s part of an Ageless Diet! And if you’re vegan, vegetarian, or you’re cutting out dairy, gluten, and processed foods from your diet it’s perfect. For me, it’s an ideal pre-dinner snack with drinks. You would be amazed at how well this stuff goes with wine! And it’s so easy and cheap to make, I’m not sure why I would ever buy the pricier, pre-made and packaged hummus at the store (besides, a lot of those little containers of hummus have additives to keep the food fresh). So skip the store bought hummus and make your own.
Tahini, a sesame seed paste, is very good for you, and it’s delicious and versatile. It’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Tahini is a staple in the Middle Eastern diet, and it’s sold almost everywhere these days. The best tahini to buy is one made with unhulled sesame seeds. One vitamin tahini is rich in is B – B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15. As you may know, B vitamins play an essential role in keeping the body strong. They support and increase the rate of metabolism. They enhance immune and nervous system function as well as helping to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone. And chickpeas are among the healthiest of legumes. In fact, there’s nothing in these hummus recipes that isn’t really, really good for you!
Try both of these recipes. The fast one for your busy days, and the very best one – the one from scratch when you have the time and foresight to soak the chickpeas. This second recipe is makes the best hummus I’ve ever had. A great tip if you’re using dried chickpeas: soak them overnight and then cook them for 3 minutes with a teaspoon of baking soda. The soda – an alkaline – helps speed the softening process of the peas by breaking down the tough cellulose walls of the chickpeas. It also makes for a much silkier texture and a faster cooking time. After you soak your chickpeas overnight, drain and rinse well, do the Yotam Ottolenghi method of cooking the drained chickpeas with a teaspoon of baking soda, and then cook them for about 20-40 minutes in water. Cook them until they’re very soft but not mushy. So make your own hummus today; you’ll be so happy you did.
Quick Hummus Recipe
Makes about 4 cups (you can halve the recipe if you want small batch hummus). I use a blender for this but a small food processor works well too!
- 3 large cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons organic tahini (sesame paste)
- Olive oil for drizzling over hummus
- 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed (organic) lemon juice
- 2 cups drained canned organic chickpeas, reserve the liquid – use Eden Foods brand, they use BPA free cans
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 6 tablespoons (or more) of chickpea liquid
- 1 cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped (optional)
- Za’atar seasoning, optional, for garnish
- Sumac, optional, for garnish
1. In a food processor or blender, blend garlic, salt, tahini, and lemon juice and zest until it’s all a nice paste.
2. Add the chick peas, parsley leaves (chop them before you add them, and if you don’t like parsley, try cilantro or whatever herb you love best), cayenne, and 6 tablespoons of chick pea liquid, and blend until smooth(ish). I like it a little chunky. Blend to your taste. Scrap sides of blender or processor to get it all combined.
3. Taste, and add more lemon juice or salt if desired, and more of the chick pea liquid until it reaches a thick, but spreadable consistency. Make it as smooth or as chunky as you like (smoother: add more liquid and blend more). I also love harissa in this. And I usually add more lemon because I love the brightness it lends.
4. When you serve it, put it in a pretty bowl, and drizzle a little olive oil on top (create a little well with it), add za’atar or harissa or chives or parsley on top if you want. Serve with chips or toasted bread. I serve it with carrots & celery & radishes & skip the chips & bread for a very healthy & delicious treat.
5. Storage: Hummus will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also freeze hummus, well-wrapped, for up to two months.
Best Basic Hummus Recipe
Makes about 4 cups
- 1 1/4 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 bay leaf
- Extra virgin olive oil, for serving
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed organic lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon za’atar seasoning, for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac, or to taste + more for serving
- 2 teaspoons sea salt + more as needed, to taste
- 7 tablespoons ice water, as needed, to thin the chickpea mixture
- Radishes, fennel, cucumbers, carrots, celery, crisp rice chips, for dipping
1. Soak the chickpeas overnight. Rinse the chickpeas well and then drain them.
2. Cook the chickpeas in a medium saucepan with a teaspoon of baking soda for about three minutes, stirring constantly. Add the 7 cups of water and bay leaf and bring it to a boil. Skim any foam that floats to the surface. After it comes to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer. Cook for 20 to 40 minutes, sometimes even longer, depending on freshness of your chickpeas, to become tender. 20 minutes is usually enough. Once done, drain the chickpeas.
3. In a food processor or blender, pulse the chickpeas until a paste (try to do this while they are still warm, they will be grind into a smoother hummus if you do). Then the tahini, lemon juice, salt, garlic, cumin and cayenne (for spice, if you want), and blend until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of ice water at a time (up to 7 tablespoons) for a smooth hummus. After you finish blending it all together, add more lemon juice or spices if you want a sharper, spicier hummus. Sometimes I like to add parsley to this recipe as well. If you do, it’s 1 cup chopped organic parsley.
4. Spread hummus on a plate. Drizzle liberally with a good extra virgin olive oil and season za’atar and sumac, if desired. Serve with raw veggies (cucumbers, carrots, celery, endive, fennel, radishes, the possibilities are endless) or pita bread or chips.
*Tip: This hummus is great as part of a salad dressing, add a tablespoon to your lemon/olive oil vinaigrette and whisk together.
*Note: I’ve read that hummus is the perfect post-workout food. Try it with celery next time you need a quick post-workout boost.
About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.