We love discovering staple foods from other cultures. The humble chickpea (garbanzo bean) can be quickly transformed into the smooth, luscious dip that is a mainstay in middle eastern cuisine.
We order our dried beans in bulk – and have learned how easy it can be to prepare bean-based meals from scratch. Simply soak the dried chickpeas in water (with a splash of apple cider vinegar or whey) and soak overnight. Why this important step? Read here to find out. The next day, simply drain away the soaking liquid (or feed it to plants – they love it). Re-fill your pot with fresh water and bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. Your pre-soaked beans will cook in about half the time!
I always do a few pounds of beans at a time, then freeze them. That way when I want to whip up a batch of hummus, or add them to a quick soup, they are ready to thaw and use!
Here is my favorite hummus recipe – but don’t feel locked down to just this! I have made splendid hummus-inspired dips out of lentils, black or white beans… the sky is the limit! Try to think of the basic necessities for making it flavorful and smooth: beans, good olive oil, garlic, salt & some fresh herbs and a splash of acidity (lemon juice can be replaced with vinegar). With those keys – you are on your way towards creating luscious and healthy side dishes for your family.
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil good quality
- 1/2 cup sesame tahini
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- handful fresh parsley or basil
- Add above ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or vitamix style blender.
- Adjust to your desired consistency by adding extra olive oil or water.
Try these add-ins:
- roasted red peppers (click here for a simple recipe)
- any fresh herb
- sun-dried tomatoes
- roasted garlic
- roasted eggplant
The above picture shows the way we like it – not too finely pureed, but still holding a bit of texture.
We’ve made a whole meal out of hummus! It can make a beautiful spread – try baking some fresh flatbread (very simple and fun!) chop up your favorite vegetables to dip, grill some chicken with a simple lemon and herb marinade and set out a simple mixed green salad. You can pile the hummus on the flatbread with the salad and WOW! A scrumptuous spread.
No need to buy those tiny tubs of slimy hummus any longer – you can make a large batch of this for pennies on the dollar. Hope you try this one!