Sunday, April 25, 2010

Homemade Hummus

I started making my own hummus when I lived in Japan and had a major craving... I could not find it anywhere, even in the import stores, so I bought a can of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), miraculously found tahini despite being unable to read the label full of Japanese characters, and made my own in my feeble blender. It was heaven!!!

I have since perfected it to my liking and frequently experiment with flavor variations (think sun-dried tomato/basil or curry). These days I buy my own organic chickpeas in the bulk section and cook them myself, but canned garbanzos are great for when you are just starting out or in a pinch. My secret to the creaminess is to peel the skins off of the beans (see picture below). It is quite the tedious task, but is well worth it in the end for that wonderful creamy texture!

Here is the recipe for my basic roasted garlic hummus. I like it tangy and lemon-y. Lately I have been roasting my garlic because although raw garlic has many health benefits, I just couldn't deal with my garlic breath! For a quick & easy roasted garlic, place garlic cloves with skins on in a skillet over medium-heat for about 5 minutes, rotating occasionally until skins are evenly browned. Peel and use.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

1 1/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans
4 small cloves garlic, roasted
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp tahini
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sweet paprika (not necessary but I love paprika!)
a few dashes cayenne pepper
juice of 2 lemons and zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp water (or reserved bean broth)**
1 tsp sea salt
ground pepper to taste
a few parsley sprigs
2 Tbsp olive oil

After peeling garbanzos, add all ingredients to food processor except for olive oil. Process until well mixed and a nice creamy texture. With machine running, add 2-3 T olive oil until texture is desired consistency.
**if using a blender, more water may be needed in the beginning to get ingredients to blend well. If you cook your own beans, you can reserve some of the cooking water for the liquid.

Nutritional Nugget: Garbanzo beans are one of the most nutritious of all the legumes, high in calcium, phosphorus and potassium. They have an exceptionally high iron and vitamin C content and contain B complex as well. Like all pulses, they are rich in essential fatty acids. Finally, they are extremely high in vitamin DELICIOUS!!!

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