Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hummus: The New Crack (But slightly healthier...)

So I think I may have the best hummus recipe in the world. One of them, at the very least. It comes from The Best Recipe*and we've been making it for years. Thing is, I always knew it was a good-for-you snack, but never realized how good it was for you. One cup of garbanzo beans, for example, provides you with one-third of your daily protein and about 25 % of your daily iron. Isn't that wild? (Here's a nifty trick I learned on how to figure out how much protein your body needs: take your body weight and divide it by 3. That's about how many grams you need per day. Ends up my initial worries over not getting enough protein on a plant-based diet were for naught. Woo-hoo!) And the tahini (which is just sesame seed butter) has, in just 2 Tablespoons, 6 grams of protein, 30% of your daily calcium needs, and 25% of your daily iron needs. Perhaps you already knew all this, but it was news to me and just blew me away.

But even if it wasn't healthy, I'd be all over it because, as I said, it's crack. Whenever we serve this stuff, people crowd around it and it disappears. When we make a double-batch just for us, it's gone in about 2 days. C-R-A-C-K.

So here's the scoop. I actually usually double the recipe, but this is the original recipe, just for kicks.

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (we a little more)
3/4 teaspoon salt
pinch cayenne pepper
3 T juice from 1 large lemon
1/4 C tahini
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 C water

Tahini is usually found near peanut butter in supermarket, but ask if you can't find it. It's gone pretty mainstream in the last few years. Make sure your olive oil is still good. If it smells even slightly rancid, get a new bottle. It's well worth the cost!

Process all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, about 40 seconds. Transfer humus to a serving bowl, cover, and chill until flavors meld -- or as my friend Mike used to say, "until the flavors get to know each other" -- for at least 30 minutes. My guess is you could make this in a blender if you don't have a processor, though I've never tried it. Ryan sometimes likes to put one piece of roasted red pepper in there, but then you should experiment taking away a little of the water, or it gets a little soupy otherwise.

We always have a bowl of this in the fridge. We dip vegetables in it, sometimes pieces of bread or pita ... I even put a heaping sloppy bunch of it on my veggie-burgers and the taste is second to none. My friends Jen and Raffi get very saucy with their hummus (which is one of the other great hummus recipes out there but I've never been able to get my paws on it, as I think it's a family secret of theirs) -- they drizzle olive oil on the platter when it is done so that there is a shallow pool of gold on top of the hummus. But only do that if you're feeling naughty. 

If you have your own amazing hummus recipe, by all means post it and we'll host our own "hummus challenge." 

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do! Peaceful Eating!

*not vegan-friendly by any means, but there are little nuggets in there I can still use!

1 comment:

  1. I have been eating Hummus since i was very little and I can't imagine life without it! It is truly amazing. I use it for every meal, breakfast lunch and dinner. It is good on literally everything (even fruit!! if you're in an adventurous mood). If you're not ready to make it (although it is so easy) SABRA is the best brand out there to buy.
    I am Israeli, but I don't use it as toothpaste (even though "Don't Mess with the Zohan" perpetuates the stereotype.