Hummus Nearly-From-Scratch

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Hummus is another refrigerator staple in my household. It’s extremely healthy, guilt-free, gluten-free & vegan; what’s not to like?

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always make it from scratch. All too often, it’s easy to just give in & buy a tub from Trader Joe’s or Jimbo’s – however when time permits; I love making it at home. This way, I can control the sodium level & make variations (like harissa, kalamata olive, pomegranate molasses or even basil). Simply put, as you can figure, I like knowing what ingredients are in there. Also, if you consume hummus extremely often, it’s definitely more cost-effective to make it from scratch.

If you’ve never made hummus before – it’s extremely simple. All you really require is a food processor & 5 basic ingredients: cooked garbanzo beans/chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil & citrus juice (preferably lemon or lime). Salt/pepper/spices to taste.

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In the days of being less busy, I would soak garbanzo beans/chickpeas overnight & boil them for just over an hour, allow them to cool & then food-process them. The food cost of making hummus this way is incredibly low because you can buy garbanzo beans in bulk (& organic) for as little as $1.29/lb. Since garbanzo beans double in size after soaking & cooking, one pound yields a LOT of hummus (or chickpea patties, addition to salads, .etc, you get the idea!). Nowadays, I use canned organic garbanzos (which are already cooked) as a nice time saver.

The second crucial ingredient is tahini (sesame paste). This can be found in the ‘ethnic food’ aisle or even the refrigerated tofu/sauce/salad dressing section at your grocery store.

BASIC HUMMUS*

yield ~2 cups (more if you add other ingredients** to spice it up.)

½ cup of dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans OR 1 can of organic garbanzo beans (15 oz. net weight, depending on the brand)
¼ cup of tahini
2-3 medium-sized garlic cloves (if you or anyone you are serving are sensitive to raw garlic, feel free to use less)
2 T of olive oil (extra virgin, cold-pressed)
splash of lemon or lime juice
Ground cumin, red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper & salt (which can be omitted if you like/if the canned garbanzos are salted)

*requires a food processor
** Variations are endless! Harissa, kalamata olive, pomegranate molasses, basil, lemon zest, roasted garlic, etc! Just incrementally add the additional ingredients to suit your tastebuds.

Drain the garbanzo beans from the liquid; however reserve some for later. I like to call this liquid garbanzo liqueur. Food-process the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic & olive oil until smooth. If the food processor is having trouble processing it all, drizzle in the reserved garbanzo liqueur a couple tablespoons at a time to aid the process. What also aids the process is using a rubber spatula to push the unprocessed bits down the sides & also to cleanly take the finished hummus out of the processor..

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After a consistency is achieved –


add cumin, red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper & salt to taste. I recommend at least a tablespoon of cumin – it gives it a bright zesty character. If you like a bit of spiciness, about a ½-1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes will go a long way (especially after the spice macerates within the hummus after a few hours of refrigeration). Finally, if you dislike a really thick hummus (which are great for dipping, in my opinion); you can thin it by adding more of the garbanzo liqueur. & voilà! Hummus. Re-appropriate the hummus into a desired container & refrigerate. It will keep for at least a week.. if it lasts that long!

Whether you eat hummus with tortilla chips, carrots, celery – or put it on your bagel, your sandwich – enjoy!

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