Chickpeas…garbanzo beans…ceci bean…chana…begal gram…whatever you wish to call them. They are the main ingredient that make up the delicious side dish called “Hummus.” The word is Arabic for chickpeas. Hummus is a dip that has its origins in the Middle East with recipes dating back to the 13th century. But its popularity has broadened its reach and you can now find hummus just about anywhere. I had hummus for the first time when I lived in the Northeast of the United States and I can even remember the brand. Here’s the list of ingredients:
- Sesame Tahini
- Blend of Oil (Soya, Canola, Corn, Olive)
- Citric Acid
- Roasted Garlic
- 1/10 of 1% Sodium Benzoate
- Potassium Sorbate
The list begins just as you’d expect. Chick peas, of course. Sesame Tahini, yes, please. Water, yup, you need it. Blend of oil of Soya, Canola, Corn and Olive. Uh oh. This is where you begin to lose me. Soya, Canola and Corn oils have been found to have a deleterious effect on the body. These oils are known to cause inflammation and are more than likely sourced from GMO crops if purchased in the US. They are chemically unstable which makes them prone to alteration or oxidation. Ultimately, these oils are probably rancid and can have an oxidizing effect on the body. The Olive part of the oil equation sounds perfect but did you notice that it was last? Let’s go on. Citric Acid, ok. Is it better than lemon juice? Salt, naturally. Roasted Garlic, sign me up. Spices, can you be more specific? And, finally, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate. Mmmm….yummy preservatives! If you are looking for ways to avoid processed foods, you can easily make at home the foods you see in the grocery stores and other dishes you love. Not only will you avoid the chemicals and preservatives inherent in the food, it will taste infinitely better because it is fresh. Hummus is a really healthy dish. Here’s the nutritional profile:
- High in iron
- High in vitamin C
- Great source of fiber
- Great source of amino acids
- Good source of folate
- Good source of vitamin B6
- Good source of protein
I want to share a hummus recipe that I tweaked to my tastes. I have made hummus at home for years but I could never get the exact flavor I was looking for. There was always something missing. My dissatisfaction led to poring over different types of hummus recipes and I finally found a combination that suits my preferences. I was missing one secret ingredient – yogurt.
- 2 cups of chickpeas without water*
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon of paprika
- 2 tablespooons of Tahini (find it here)
- 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- The juice of 1 & 1/2 lemon
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3 tablespoons of yogurt (Full fat and plain)
- 1/2 cup of water from the can or from boiling your chickpeas
- Parsley for a garnish
- *I used dry chickpeas that I soaked overnight and then boiled for an hour+ to prepare. You can use canned chickpeas (preferably BPA-free) but you will probably have to adjust the salt because they usually add salt to the canned beans.
- Put everything except the water into a blender or food processor and blend together. Now, add the water until you've reached the consistency you want. To serve you can drizzle some olive oil on top with some parsley sprigs and paprika or cumin sprinkles. Eat with pita bread or any of your favorite vegetables. It's that easy!
My family loves this recipe and I am now badgered to keep a fresh batch in the fridge at all times.
Live well and be happy!