Monday, June 28, 2010


Here is another way to use garbanzo beans (chickpeas) from your food storage. Even more, it is probably a reason to store Garbanzo beans. If you have never eaten hummus you will want to try it. Hummus, along with roasted Garbanzo beans, are a way to introduce your family to these beans. I will include a couple of recipes, one made with canned beans, the other with dried garbanzo beans. The recipes are interchangeable. It is a great dip for veggies, chips, pita bread, or almost anything else you can think of to put it on. It also makes for a great vegetarian sandwich spread.

The great thing about hummus, is that you can make it taste just how YOU like it. Not only that, when you make it yourself, it is fresh and not so high in sodium like the hummus you buy. It is just all around better for you.

Most hummus is made with Tahinni.Tahini is a paste made out of sesame seeds with a consistency similar to natural peanut butter (the oily kind). It has a delicious smokey flavor. If you have it or want to buy it, that’s great. Use what you need till you get the taste you want, usually 1-3 Tablespoons of it. If you don’t have tahinni you can use roasted sesame seeds processed with the beans or you may want to use sesame oil in place of the olive oil. If you happen to have an allergy to sesame seeds, you will like it just fine without.

Hummus (with canned beans)
1/2 c. sesame seeds (untoasted, you will toast them yourself for a richer flavor)
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for serving
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well
1 t. salt
1-3 T. lime juice, to your taste
2 cloves garlic
Paprika for garnish
Optional ingredients: Sun dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, eggplant, herbs and different kinds of nuts, feta cheese crumbles, fresh cilantro, basil, rosemary or parsley – whatever you like
Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet, stirring constantly and watching carefully, until just lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the seeds to the bowl of a food processor. Add the olive oil and pulse until the sesame seeds are smoothly blended. Add all remaining ingredients except the paprika and pulse until hummus is well combined and smooth. Transfer to a bowl. If serving immediately, drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with paprika. Otherwise, tightly cover the hummus with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Before serving refrigerated hummus, allow it to come to room temperature, then stir and garnish. Yield: about 2 cups. Serve with raw vegetables, pita chip or spread on crusty bread pieces.

Hummus (with dried beans)
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic
tahini to taste
1 lemon
1/2 t. paprika (gourmet paprika or sweet chili powder is best) 1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper (optional)
Pure olive oil, canola oil, or sesame oil
Good quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Pick over, rinse and soak the dry chickpeas overnight in plenty of water (they expand quite a bit). The next day rinse them, then boil the until they are soft, about an hour and a half. Add more water if necessary. If you want to roast your garlic, do it while the beans are cooking. All of the ingredients besides the beans are optional. The usual standard recipe includes olive or sesame oil, a lot of garlic, lemon juice, ground black pepper, and paprika. Remember, you cannot put extra virgin olive oil into a blender, or it will turn bitter. Use either pure olive oil or canola oil for blending, then if you want you can add a good extra virgin olive oil on top as a garnish. I personally don’t care for the olive oil on top. Put all ingredients in the blender or food processor and process till smooth. Adding whatever ingredients you like. The key to success is to taste often till you find just the taste you are looking for. Chances are, it will taste different every time you make it. If your mixture is too thick you can add a little yogurt or lemon juice or even water if you don’t want any more oil. Once your hummus is creamy, taste it with a clean spoon and adjust the salt, lemon and tahini or any others spices you want to add.

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