The Virtues of Hummus [Secret Family Recipe Included]

Who hasn’t heard of hummus? It’s all the rage in nutrition circles, as more consumers are discovering the Mediterranean bean dip and incorporating into their diet. The two leading brands, Tribe and Sabra have seen explosive growth in the last few years and more players are joining along.

Hummus is considered a healthy dip because it is full of heart healthy fats, high in protein and very satisfying. The beans also contain nice amounts of fiber.

Consumer Reports recently covered the growing market by comparing 10 different brands. The winners were actually smaller brands such as Cedar’s Naturally Delicious and Simply Delicious. Trader Joe’s Hummus came in last!

But to do Hummus justice, and to enjoy a preservative free version, there is nothing like homemade. It is not that hard to make, and after enjoying a your home cooked version, it is very hard to go back to store bought hummus. Trust us, family experience…

Hummus Recipe: (serves 6)

2 cups of dry garbanzo beans (chickpeas)  - check the bulk section of the supermarket and buy the smallest sized beans you can find

3/4 cup of tahini

juice of one lemon

2-3 garlic cloves


1 tsp baking soda (optional)

sprig of parsley, olive oil, and paprika for garnish


1. Rinse and soak the hummus beans overnight in a covered pot.

2. Rinse again. Add a lot of water to the beans, at least 2-3 inches above them.

3. Use a pressure cooker to cook the beans for about 1.5 hours. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, a regular pot can work, but may take 3-4 hours. A shortcut is to add 1 teaspoon of baking soda when starting off. During the cooking there may be some foam, just scoop it off.

How do you know the beans are soft and ready? Throw a bean at the wall, if it sticks, the beans are ready. Seriously!

4. Let the beans cool for a bit.

5. Scoop all the beans out of the pot, but don’t throw away the liquid, you will need it.

6. put beans, half a cup of liquid, tahini, most of the lemon juice, garlic and salt into a blender. Blend at high speed for a minute or two until you see smooth paste. If the paste is too solid, add some more cooking liquid.

7. Now you need to tinker a bit with the flavors to reach nirvana. If the taste of tahini is too strong, add some more lemon juice. If there is not enough bite, another garlic clove. Salt to taste.

8. Serving suggestion – lop the hummus paste onto a bowl, sprinkle some olive oil on top. Then a bit of paprika. Then a sprig of parsley. Enjoy with whole wheat pita bread!


* This hummus will hold for 3-5 days in the fridge.

* In this traditional recipe we did not use any added oils. most hummus bought in stores use a copious amount of vegetable oil which is cheaper than tahini, and also less healthy.

Bon apetit

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  • Marianna

    My oldest son (6) and I love hummus but I am so scared of soaking beans so I have just been buying Tribe. This looks easy enough though so I will have to give it a try.

  • Cheri

    I’ve attempted this recipe before with all the soaking and rinsing and everything but the flatulence is still overwhelming. This is embarrassing but my husband is the worst and one of the kids not much better. Anyone have a suggestion that works? Sorry for the indelicate question but hummus in our household is make or break on this issue.

    • Swannee P

      I make it with Trader Joe’s canned garbanzo beans (organic).  Tastes great, less complicated, & I don’t get quite as gassy as I do when I cook them myself.

    • Nulungs95

      I sprinkle my hummus with Cumin and that helps with the flatulence..

  • Michelle LaPorte Grant

    This looks great, do you have the


  • Dina Rose

    Hummus is a “secret” child-friendly food. MOst people don’t think about offering it to kids, but most little ones love it.


    • Janet Nezon

      That’s so true! Just yesterday I was having a conversation with a mom who said “kids don’t eat hummus!” I agree that parents just don’t think of offering it, because it wasn’t a common food when many of us were growing up.  Most kids I know gobble it up! It’s also great for dipping & for encouraging self-feeding with the little ones!

  • Tara

    I am a college student and finding easy to make healthy foods is hard but luckily with this recipe I can make a bunch of hummus to keep on hand. It’s way cheaper to make it this way than to go out and by a tub of it and you can add many different flavors to this as well. I love hummus with veggies or pretzels, even substituting hummus in for cheese on a home made pizza. It tastes fabulous believe me! The best part about hummus for me though is that it helps keep my digestive system regular which is always a big plus for me :) . Thank you for this great recipe!

    • Alphazeta

      Not only will it keep you regular, it will assure you enjoy plenty of elbow room in the lecture halls. Your methane will clear a zone of seats around you at least one deep. Just don’t sit in the front row directly before the professor.

  • Parisbreakfast

    I found on Chowhound a slurry for the soaking chickpeas that seriously shortens the cooking time to around 20-30 minutes.
    1 Tbsp Flour + 1 Tbsp salt + 1 teasp Baking soda
    soak for 6+ hrs
    Rince and cook in fresh water to cover
    You won’t need to salt the water.
    I also use way less tahini- just 2 teasps and tons of lemon juice + zest
    No gas at all from this recipe and I’m new to soaking beans
    I did read to let the beans cool down in the cooking liquid before processing.

  • Irreverent Alien

    I do my hummus with a brand of canned beans that i found that has less sodium than a sodium reduced brand and only has more sodium than one labeled as sodium free (it comes in at 19mg per can, which is low in my terms). Opposed to the other can though, the one I use has only water, salt and chickpeas as ingredients.
    Then I did a change that I like so much, that i boast to have improved a millenarian recipe. I do not use lemon juice, because the lemon juice in the US tastes so metallic. I use half and half lime and orange juice.
    Then I add a peruvian powdered chili called aji panca, which gives my hummus a slight smokey character.
    1 18 oz can
    1 tbsp of garlic or two cloves
    4 TBSP of lime/orange juice or lemon juice
    2 TBSP Tahini
    salt to taste but less than a teaspoon
    all into the food processor and my hummus takes me five minutes from can opening to serving.

    I love to serve it with barbari bread toasts or with a flatbread from Arabic bakeries. The pita chips are terrible with all their fake tastes.