To make awesome, healthy hummus, all you need is a food processor. You can cook your beans from dry if you have the time, but I find that using canned beans is the easiest way to go. I’ll show you how to start off with a basic hummus recipe, then take it any direction you please!
The Base: Classic Hummus
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
fresh lemon juice, to taste
1/4 cup tahini (I love Once Again brand)
1 small garlic clove, minced (be sure to mince it before it goes in the processor, so it gets fully blended!)
2 tablespoons or more extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini, lemon juice, and garlic and process for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, add remaining ingredients, then process for 30 seconds more. Add extra oil, lemon juice, salt, or garlic, to taste, if needed. (you may also use a splash of water to thin it out, if you’re trying to keep it lower-fat)
10 Delicious Variations on Classic Hummus:
- Roasted Red Pepper - Add 1-2 large roasted red bell peppers and and blend. Top with more diced pepper, if desired.
- Pesto Hummus - Stir in store-bought (or homemade) pesto. Top with fresh basil.
- White Bean or Black Bean Hummus - Sub white beans or black beans for half or all of the chickpeas in the basic recipe.
- Sundried Tomato - Blend into basic recipe: a handful of (oil-preserved) sundried tomatoes and a dash each of oregano and basil.
- Ranch Hummus - In place of oil, mix chickpeas with greek yogurt. Blend in 1 tsp dried dill, 1 tsp dried parsley, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.
- Tzatziki Hummus - Prepare classic hummus, then top with diced cucumber, feta, fresh dill, and lemon zest.
- Mexican Hummus - Top classic hummus with olives, tomato, diced avocado, and a dash of chili powder. Serve with corn chips.
- Beet Hummus - A great way to eat this nutritious vegetable! Mix cooked, chopped beets in with chickpeas and blend - you may need to cut back on some of the liquid/oil to account for the moisture of the beets.
- Pumpkin Hummus - Can be sweet or savory. For savory: Blend 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin along with chickpeas in basic recipe, but cut back on some of the liquid ingredients to account for the added moisture. Use an extra sprinkling of cumin and coriander to play up the spice. For sweet: Omit all ingredients beyond chickpeas - blend chickpeas with 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 3-4 tsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and a dash each of salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle with cinnamon and top with pumpkin seeds before serving.
- Chocolate Hummus - Omit all ingredients in basic recipe except for chickpeas. Instead, blend chickpeas with 3-4 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract, a dash of salt, and 4 tbsp cocoa powder. (thin with water, if needed) Serve with cinnamon pita chips.
Other creative ideas with hummus:
- Mix into pasta salad
- Use a spoonful in your salad dressing to give it body and flavor
- Spread on naan bread - top with cucumber, tomato, and sprouts and enjoy
- Use on sandwiches in place of mayo. Or, simply spread on toast for a healthy breakfast!
- Use in layered dips in place of sour cream
- Mix into deviled eggs in place of mayo
- Stir into soup to thicken it and to add a punch of flavor
Tomorrow marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What does this have to do with hummus? I’ll tell you: One of our wonderful clients is a breast cancer survivor. She has become incredibly knowledgeable about preventative healthcare over the years, and is generous enough to share with me a lot of what she learns. I am shocked by some of the statistics she has shared with me relating disease prevention to diet, especially the direct correlation between increased instances of breast cancer and increased dietary protein consumption from animal sources. The evidence is frightening - there's no better time to say "no" to a meat-heavy diet.
The bottom line? To reduce your chances of certain diseases like cancer, it is a smart idea to incorporate more plant-based meals into your week. Since this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, why don’t you join me in making (or ordering) a big batch of hummus this week? Full of protein, fiber, and flavor, it is the perfect base to a vegan lunch, dinner, or snack.
Let us know if you come up with a new variation that we should try!