To be honest, I was never a big hummus fan. Then, one day, I discovered an amazing store-bought brand that became a staple in my house. If you’ve got a product you like that’s made from good ingredients and isn’t loaded in sodium, hummus is a wonderful food to keep on hand for healthy eats.
That said, making it at home is super easy, and you only need a few ingredients and a food processor. My original recipe, shown in a cooking video, is here; this version just includes a roasted red pepper and a bit of cumin for a colorful, sweet variant that makes healthy eating a cinch.
- Garbanzos (chick peas), 3 cups
- Tahini (sesame paste), ~2-3 tbsp
- Water (or cooking/canning liquid from the beans), ~1/2-1 cup
- Garlic, 2-4 cloves
- Roasted red pepper, up to 1
- Olive oil, ~1/4 cup
- Cumin, ~1/2 tsp
- Salt, a few pinches
- Black pepper, a few grinds
- Cayenne pepper, a dash (optional)
- Lemon juice, freshly squeezed from 1/4 lemon (optional)
If you’re not used to working with dried beans, which are less expensive and have a smaller carbon footprint with no packaging waste, give it a shot! It’s simple, and you can learn more here. Or just grab a few no-salt added cans from your pantry, as I sometimes do, for convenience and ease.
Whiz together the beans, 1/2 cup liquid, tahini, and garlic. Give the pepper a rough chop and add alongside the cumin and other ingredients then give it another whir. Enjoy the lovely hue it develops! Feel free to start with 1/4 pepper at a time and go up to the whole thing. The more you use, the deeper the color and more dominant the flavor will be. You’ll see that homemade hummus does not come out fully homogenized and extra creamy like store-bought; it will retain some texture from the beans. (In a good way, I think.)
Taste and adjust the seasonings and thickness to suit your palate. I often find myself adding more water/garbanzo liquid to make it thinner, a drizzle more olive oil for flavor, and sometimes an additional pinch of salt and extra garlic clove. It’s to taste! Do note that the garlic flavor develops as it sits, so if you’re not sure on that front then wait to see how you like it in a few hours or the next day before adding another clove. Need more instructions? Check out my cooking video here, and just add the red pepper and cumin to make this flavor.
This hummus was a beautiful play on my basic recipe. It’s a terrifically nutritious afternoon snack when paired with a few crunchy vegetables. It also makes a ravishing sandwich when slathered on whole grain bread along with arugula, a blush tomato, a drizzle of olive oil, and a crack of pepper.
No matter how you serve it, hummus is a protein-, fiber-, and flavor-filled food that is fun to make. It’s a great way to add more beans to your diet—and most of us don’t get nearly enough for optimal health. A fast and easy weekend cooking project, get some into the fridge now so you have convenient and healthy fare at your fingertips during the week.
And definitely make that sandwich.
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Dr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic disease through diet and the relationships between agriculture, food production, and public health. Her blogging is currently taking a back seat as she works on her second book. Dr. Newby brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time.
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