Hummus…the dip that is sure to give you your savory food fix and is sent from the glorious snacking god.
But how can you avoid the GMO oils in the store-bought hummus, make up some rad new flavors, and possibly save a little money while doing so?
You know me so well. Yes, you can make your own, of course!
Why do I want to make my own hummus?
Like I mentioned, making something yourself from scratch is usually going to trump store-bought versions when taking into consideration freshness and healthiness. You get to choose all your own ingredients (including ones that are in season) thereby avoiding any of the questionable ingredients found in brands at the store. Most are made with soybean or canola oil, which are primarily genetically modified if not organic. I do my best to avoid GMOs if I can, so making my own allows me to use higher quality oils like organic extra virgin olive oil or organic sesame oil. You typically won’t see these used with many common brands because the vegetable oils are so much cheaper. With homemade hummus, you really are saving money too, especially if you can find chickpeas on sale. Tahini may seem to be expensive, but you only use a very small amount so it’s a worthy investment. Plus, you don’t have to use it, and you can make your own for way cheaper! You know I hopped on that train. 🙂 Also, like I state in many of my other guides, the coolest thing about making things homemade is the opportunities for customization. You can add any flavors, tap into your creative culinary side – yeah, ya got one! – and cater it to your liking/needs/preferences. Also, it’s INCREDIBLY quick and easy to make!
What’s so great about hummus?
Chickpeas are a great source of fiber and protein. It’s a great food that will keep you full AND provide you with nutrients – it’s not just empty calories like many other snack foods can be. Fiber is good for your digestive and intestinal system, and the soluble fiber in chickpeas may also usher bad cholesterol out of the body. Protein can help stabilize blood sugar levels and promote satiety. Chickpeas also contain vitamins and minerals like iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphate, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, and calcium, which may contribute to bone health, increased energy levels and many other benefits.
Whatever you decide to add to your hummus, whether it be the anti-bacterial properties of lemon juice and garlic, calcium and healthy fats from the tahini or phytonutrients from greens, will also offer additional nutrients and benefits.
What are all the ways I can use hummus?
Most people know of hummus as a dip for pita bread/chips, crackers, or chopped veggies. But hummus wears a couple more hats including its use:
- On Salads – if you want to do this, remember you can always change the consistency of your final product by adding more liquid, whether that be oil, lemon juice or water! You can also add a little vinegar instead to give it a little zing or just add it to other salad dressing recipes that you think it would compliment well. I also came across one that’s made with orange juice, hummus and olive oil.
- As a Spread – can use in place of mayo, on bread, tacos or wraps, on top of grilled portobello mushroom caps
- As a Sauce – for homemade pizza with veggies, added to chopped eggs or chicken for a sandwich filling, with pasta or noodles
- In Soup – You can add it to your favorite soups to make them more creamy or try this one or this mushroom one
Alright, now how can I master this art of making hummus?
Here are the main components:
- Chickpeas – Key player here! I’ve only ever used canned and think that’s going to be your easiest, most convenient method. I always find organic ones on sale for $1 and just buy a few to have on hand. There are also darker colored, more odd-shaped garbanzo beans out there that may be higher in some nutrients and are more common around the world. They are referred to as ‘desi’ type beans. If you see these, they’re worth trying! If you’re going to cook the chickpeas yourself using dried legumes, use about 2 cups cooked chickpeas in place of the can.
- Fats/Oils – Most common are Tahini and Olive Oil, but you can also use sesame oil
- Acids – Lemon or Lime Juice
- (Typically) Garlic – Minced or pressed
- Seasonings – Most common is just sea salt, but you can also add pepper, garlic powder (if you don’t have or want to use fresh), onion powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, chives, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, chipotle powder (or chilies), dillweed
Then, get jazzy by adding these extras if you please:
- Flavors – 1-2 tbsp. tamari (or any substitute like organic soy, nama shoyu, coconut aminos), roasted pine nuts, walnuts or almonds, hemp seeds, olives, small amount of organic yogurt or some cashews for creaminess, nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, sriracha or jalapaño, balsamic-glazed onions
- Veggies – Grilled or marinated artichoke, spinach, kale, sun-dried tomato, roasted or fresh red peppers, cooked beets or sweet potato, avocado, roasted eggplant or zucchini
- Herbs, fresh or dried – basil, parsley, cilantro, tarragon
Below is a sweet potato hummus I made without a recipe; I just added one medium cooked sweet potato with a can of chickpeas, some olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and sea salt. It was quite tasty!! I liked the sweetness added because of the yam. It was decently thick so if I wanted a thinner consistency, I would have just added more water, oil or lemon juice.
First you want to rinse and drain the beans, then you basically place all the ingredients, except for garnishes if using some, in a blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth. You may need to add small amounts of warm water ( 1 tbsp.) at a time to get it to blend if using a blender. A tip from Cookie and Kate is to blend/process the tahini and lemon juice together first to make the hummus extra creamy. That’s a link to her fabulous Green Goddess Recipe.. you should check it out!
Below is a great common starter recipe from a jar of tahini. You can use it to reference for the amounts and then you can add any of the things mentioned above to spice it up! Just taste test as you go by adding a little of each ingredient at a time.
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 clove garlic
- sea salt, to taste
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- Place all ingredients (plus any others that you'd like) in a food processor or blender and process/blend until smooth.
Okay, so I did come across cookie dough hummus when I was doing a little reasearchin’. Yeah, you know I tried it. It was a little different, but overall I did really like it! I really enjoyed it spread on some sprouted grain (like Ezekial) toast! I just did a fusion of these three recipes from Chocolate-Covered Katie, A Dash of Compassion, and Pop Sugar.
Now over to you..any other flavors I’m missing? Are you ready to make your own? Chat with me using the form below!