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.