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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Hummus: A Healthy Hunger-Buster

Hummus: A Healthy Hunger-Buster

Mmm, hummus! Fifteen years ago, this intoxicating concoction of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic was a well-kept secret. Probably invented in medieval Egypt, hummus spread throughout Middle East over the course of several centuries before making its way to America in the 20th Century. Now, it flies off the shelves of even the smallest grocery stories — and with good reason.

After all, what’s not love about a food product that is as nutritious as it is delicious? Hummus is high in protein, dietary fiber, iron, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, the amino acid methionine, and healthy monounsaturated fat, which helps you feel full.

Besides its rich, savory flavor and nutritional content, the secret to hummus’ success probably lies in its sheer versatility. It can be enjoyed as a snack, or part of a larger meal. It tastes delicious smeared over crackers or pita wedges, but also makes a great dip for vegetables, pretzels, and more. It can even be used a sandwich spread, making it a healthier alternative to mayonnaise.

Despite its simple recipe, store-bought hummus can be pricey, often $5 or more for a small 12-oz. container. There’s no need to pay that much, though, when you can easily make your own — and make it to your own liking — right in your own food processor!

Here are a few easy recipes to get you started. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients and flavor combinations!

Basic Hummus
Ingredients:
1 15-oz. can of chickpeas (sometimes labeled garbanzo beans)
1/3 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Paprika

Directions:
Drain chickpeas and set aside the liquid. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend on low until smooth. If needed, gradually add reserved liquid from the chickpeas to aid in blending. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Ingredients:
1 15-oz. can of chickpeas (sometimes labeled garbanzo beans)
1/3 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
Paprika

Directions:
Drain chickpeas and set aside the liquid. Combine all ingredients except peppers in blender or food processor and blend on low until smooth. If needed, gradually add reserved liquid from the chickpeas to aid in blending. Add roasted peppers and process until the peppers are fully incorporated into the mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Horseradish Hummus
Ingredients:
1 15-oz. can of chickpeas (sometimes labeled garbanzo beans)
1/3 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons horseradish, freshly ground or jarred
Paprika

Directions:
Drain chickpeas and set aside the liquid. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend on low until smooth. If needed, gradually add reserved liquid from the chickpeas to aid in blending. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Olive Hummus
Ingredients:
1 15-oz. can of chickpeas (sometimes labeled garbanzo beans)
1/3 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Paprika

Directions:
Drain chickpeas and set aside the liquid. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend on low until smooth. If needed, gradually add reserved liquid from the chickpeas to aid in blending. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

12 comments

1 Holly { 09.28.13 at 8:24 pm }

I found mine by the olives and pickles..:)

2 Jennifer { 05.17.12 at 4:50 pm }

I think tahini tastes a lot like peanut butter and have had success substituting peanut butter when I wanted to make hummus but didn’t have any tahini.

3 Michelle Sanborn { 05.17.12 at 4:48 pm }

At Shaw’s in Bath the Tahini is in the salad dressing aisle above the croutons. Ask for it if you can’t find it. I looked up and down the ethnic aisle and it wasn’t there, when I asked it was above the croutons (weird).

4 A. Baines { 05.17.12 at 3:28 pm }

tahini is not sesame oil but youre close. its toasted sesame seeds blended/processed still warm to make a paste. usually you will need to add a bit of olive oil to the paste to make it pliable. You don’t necessarily need tahini to make hummus but if you would like to make a lighter version of hummus you can substitute the oil for water but remember that the texture will change to a chunkier version without the oil. you can use lime juice instead of lemon juice and you can also just use your imagination to the flavour combinations that you like in hummus its that versatile. have fun.

5 Jaime McLeod { 05.16.12 at 1:53 pm }

joyro4u – Try the ethnic food aisle.

6 Jaime McLeod { 05.16.12 at 1:52 pm }

Hi Judy, Tahini is sesame paste, and they should have it in most grocery stores. Try the ethnic food aisle. You can substitute olive oil – and many people replace some of the tahini with olive oil because they don’t care for the flavor – but it won’t taste quite right if you’re used to eating hummus made with tahini. As for the lime juice, yes, you could substitute.

7 Judy { 05.16.12 at 11:27 am }

Also… can lime juice be substituted for lemon juice? Lemon makes me yak.

8 Judy { 05.16.12 at 11:26 am }

Can anything be substituted for tahini? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

9 joyro4u { 05.16.12 at 8:55 am }

Where do you look for hummus in the super mart?

10 Ashleigh { 05.16.12 at 8:08 am }

Evelyn – it’s a paste made from ground up sesame seeds.

11 Evelyn { 05.16.12 at 1:44 am }

what is tahini?

12 Jayla SunBird { 05.14.12 at 11:59 am }

I ever did ‘the hog’ for hummus; loves it!
JSB

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