Sure, it is easy to find hummus at almost any grocery store, but there is nothing - NOTHING - that compares to homemade hummus. I do sometimes buy hummus for last minute necessities, but most of the ones I have tried either end with a sour or unpleasant aftertaste, have a consistency I am not crazy about or contain that "extra" ingredient added for longer shelf life.
Making your own hummus is much easier than you think. You only need a few ingredients, a food processor or blender, and room in the fridge for leftovers. The great thing about hummus is that you can make a large batch and enjoy it throughout the week as a dip for your favorite raw vegetables, a spread for your sandwich or wrap, an accompaniment to grilled lamb, or just straight out of the bowl.
Since hummus is made from a legume (chickpea) and a seed (sesame), it is also a complete protein. Anytime you combine two or more of a legume, seed/nut, or whole grain, you are creating a protein source for your body that contains all of the essential amino acids. This is wonderful news for those of us who like to enjoy meat only a few times a month, or never. I try to ensure that when I pack a lunch for work, I always have a complete protein so that I will have the energy to get me through that three o'clock hour that would otherwise tempt me with something sweet. My favorites for work are hummus with a variety of raw vegetables, quinoa salad or a green salad with lots of vegetables, chickpeas and sprouted sunflower seeds.
This time of year, you can most likely find dried chickpeas at your local farmers market. I purchase mine from Tom Shepherd at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market. To prepare dried beans, soak them over night in water. Drain them and add to a large, heavy pot with fresh water. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook for about one hour or until beans are tender. Remember that dried beans double in size when cooked!
garlic chickpea hummus
makes 1 quart
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup raw tahini
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
5 large cloves garlic
juice of 1 lemon
celtic mineral sea salt
In a food processor, mince garlic cloves. Add chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice and blend until smooth.
Hummus with be thick. Add water, a little at a time and blend until smooth. You may need to add a little more water until you reach the consistency you prefer. I do not like mine too runny.
Season with sea salt and continue to blend, tasting until the hummus is just right.