Sunday, July 19, 2009

DIY Sunday - Do-It-Yourself Hummus

I love hummus. I take it for granted that everyone has tried hummus, but a few of my work friends were new to this food, so a brief word about what it is: hummus is a spread or dip made out of chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), some sort of oil (usually tahini), garlic and lemon juice. It's often served with pita bread or veggies, and it's a simple and healthy snack.

I do not love eating
phosphoric acid, however, which I recently learned is an ingredient in my favorite brand of hummus. Food-grade phosphoric acid is used to give foods a tangy taste, and is used as a cheap alternative to real lemon juice or to citric acid. I checked around, and some brands of hummus do use citric acid rather than phosphoric. That seemed better (citric acid is from citrus fruits, right?) until I learned that most industrial citric-acid is derived from mold grown on scrap molasses or other sugary substances. As we used to say in 1987, gag me with a spoon.

Therefore, I decided I would have to make my own hummus. After reading many recipes, I devised my own. Here's the perfected version:

You will need:

2 15 oz. cans of garbanzo beans (look for brands with only three ingredients: organic chickpeas, water, and sea salt). If you want your hummus a bit chunky, drain the water out of the cans. If you want it creamy, leave the water in.
1/3 cup tahini (or pureed sesame seeds - find it with the peanut butter or with Middle Eastern foods). If you can't find it, substitute olive oil.

Hmm... tahini ...

juice of one lemon
2-4 garlic cloves, pressed
a generous shake of chili powder
a generous shake of cumin
Put all of the ingredients in the blender.
Blend everything, until the hummus is a pasty consistency. Put it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour before serving. It can last about a week in an airtight container - but it probably won't, because you'll eat it all up. Serve it as a dip, or spread it on sandwiches, wraps or salads.

Hummus. It doesn't look exciting, but it will wake up your mouth. Kids love it too. Just ask Gwyneth Paltrow. Apparently, one of her daughter Apple's first words was "hummy."

You can add other spices or goodies, such as chili flakes, roasted red pepper or eggplant, or chopped onion. Experiment and enjoy this healthy snack.

1 comment:

Tori said...

Yummy hummy! Though you can substitute olive oil, tahini isn't that hard to find and the sesame seeds make it a complete protein.

Another variation (ripped off from whole foods) is black bean so good!