By name it sounds like it might be alien. Rest assured it is very much a human food.
Hummus is a yummy bean dip that is frequently served at Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influenced cafes, carts, and restaurants.
Hummus has long been a favorite “poor girl’s” lunch. When paired with whole grain flatbread, and some fruit or veggies if they are available, hummus makes a reliable food. It’s hard to get stuffed, yet the magical dip delivers loads of sustained energy, and lots of garlic breath.
Traditionally the garbanzo bean is the star of the show. They are pureed with Tahini (sesame butter) garlic and spices. The dip is served hot, cold, or everywhere in between. Typical accompaniments include fresh veggies, olives, and soft flatbread. Some people get creative and use the dip as a sandwich spread, a filling for a stuffed meat, or even as a base for an entree.
Increasingly people are experimenting with hummus recipes that call for other white beans such as navy beans. Each bean gives the hummus a different character. I have developed a strong preference for white bean hummus over traditional garbanzo hummus as the texture tends to be less chalky.
I’m a sucker for the traditional presentation. Hummus, bread and veggies. It’s a complete meal that way — lean protein, whole grains, a raw vegetables.
The dip can even be ‘living food’ by using sprouted beans. If you’re curious about all that, please visit the link for help from my friend Chef Tina Jo. Even if you use cooked beans, you’ll still reap the benefits of the raw garlic, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil.
Raw food enthusiasts will tell you how beneficial it is to sprout beans rather than cooking them. While I don’t consider myself an enthusiast, I firmly believe that raw foods should be a part of every diet whether it be simple like a piece or two of fruit, or maybe that salad you have at dinner or whether it be a more dedicated diet where you’re fermenting and sprouting your foods!
Raw foods have valuable enzymes and the maximum nutritional value that help your body to process the garbage we put in them everyday 🙂
To sum it up, Hummus is a welcome dip on just about any hors d’ouevres table, and is the sneakiest of ways to get your friends and loved ones to eat right. Try skipping the other chips and dips and putting out a nice big bowl of hummus with lots of veggies and whole-grain pita wedges. Then try not to giggle in delight as they chow down the ‘health food’. Think: Superbowl Parties, cocktail mixers, group dances, etc.
The basic hummus recipe formula is:
- 2 cups prepared White Beans (cooked or sprouted)
- 3-4 squeezes Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1-2 cloves Garlic
- a pinch of Chili
- a pinch of Cumin
- Olive Oil
Instructions are REAL simple. Puree it all together as season to taste. Serve topped with a shallow pool of olive oil and a light sprinkle chili powder. Add a bit of parsley to the garnish to help combat the garlic breath, or not!
Chef it up:
Add roasted peppers, olives, crumbled bacon (mmm…beans and bacon…), herbs, extra garlic, or even diced up chili peppers! Hummus is receptive to your tweaks and can be a great place to ‘use up’ a shrinking half pepper, or those lingering olives, or whatever you have sitting around needing to be eaten.
Serve with pita wedges, fresh veggies, and/or chips. Spread it on a bagel, spread on a tortilla or flatbread, add veggies and wrap up to make a complete meal on the go.
The greatest way to combat garlic breath is to make everybody else around you eats just as much. (Another great reason to be the cook!)
Hot Kitchen episodes featuring Hummus: