Saturday, November 9, 2013

Homemade Hummus

Last weekend one branch of my husband's family had a little get together. We offered to bring snacks, so I made a plate of my homemade hummus and veggies. I make this hummus all the time at home, and it takes me less than ten minutes to make, so I was pleasantly surprised with rave reviews and requests for the recipe.

One batch of this hummus will supply nearly a week of healthy and delicious afternoon snacks or easy lunches. Spread on a rye cracker, topped with pumpkin seeds, this hummus makes a light lunch that still manages to sustain me until dinner. Crisp celery dipped in hummus is my favourite afternoon snack combination. Served with good olives, cheese and crackers, and a dry white wine, any hour instantly becomes Happy Hour!

I make this in my food processor, but you could easily adjust the order in which you add your ingredients to work with a blender, or even a immersion (or stick) blender in a big mixing bowl. Once you master the method, you can make all sorts of variations! Blend in some roasted red peppers drained of their oil; add 2-3 cloves of roasted garlic; or, add some pitted black olives and pulse just enough to combine.

Enjoy making your own hummus and knowing exactly what goes into it! Many storebought hummus brands include ingredients that make the hummus shelf stable, or make them last a long time. And if they are flavoured (like red pepper, for example), the flavour often doesn't taste nearly as fresh or rich as if you made it yourself. But the biggest problem with storebought hummus is the high levels of unnecessary sodium. When you make it yourself, you can add more lemon juice, vinegar, or garlic to bump up the flavour before you add extra salt.

Homemade Hummus
1 can (19 oz) of no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1/4 cup of sesame tahini (you can find this near other Mediterranean foods)
1/4 cup of lemon juice (bottled is fine)
1/4 cup of olive oil (reserve some of this if you are using a food processor)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (white vinegar is fine)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

Optional (pick one):
3-4 pieces of roasted red pepper, drained of oil
2-3 cloves of roasted garlic, peeled
1/3 - 1/2 cup pitted black olives, drained

In a food processor or blender: 
Add all ingredients, but reserve some of the olive oil. Process all ingredients until smooth. While the motor is running, stream in the remaining olive oil. (This will emulsify the olive oil and make the hummus a bit lighter and fluffier.) Scrape down the sides of your food processor and taste the hummus for consistency and flavour. If it's too thick but the flavour is right, add a splash of water. If the flavour is flat, add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar. If the flavour is too sharp, add a splash of olive oil. If there are no "low notes" in the flavour, add another pinch of garlic powder.

Makes about 2 cups of hummus. 

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