Real Food Snacks: Hummus

June 3, 2013

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I’ve been on vacation for the past week in New Mexico with my family, parents and grandparents.  What a special time we had together!  I always considered myself a beach person but now my heart is in the mountains as well!  At least the summertime mountains ;o)…It was a little tricky eating real food on vacation.  I’ll post later this week some tips and what helped me along the way!  But now let’s talk about hummus.

The first time I tried hummus was less than three years ago.  I eat it at least three or four times a week now (every day if we’re not out of it)!  It is the perfect dip for raw vegetables, the greatest spread for wraps and sandwiches and is so very versatile. Once you make your own hummus, the store brands do not taste quite right.  There are several additives to keep the hummus preserved and they give it a somewhat waxy taste.  Making your own is oh so simple and something fun you can do with your toddler!

The first thing I’d like to mention when choosing your beans for this recipe is that not all canned beans are created equal.  For instance, I found a can of garbanzo beans in my pantry from Target, the market pantry brand.  Take a look at the ingredients:
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Below is the Trader Joe’s brand of Garbanzo beans.  They are non-organic, however they have nothing added to them to promote color retention and nothing that would confuse/alarm me as a consumer.  Obviously organic is best, but we do what we can around here which means some weeks we eat more organic than others!  I only show you this to remind you to read labels, you can find some surprising stuff in the ingredient lists!
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I went to a hummus class in the Fall taught by a dear friend, Karen Gainey.  She showed us how to make several types of hummus but the one that I typically make and/or enjoy is the plain and simple version!  She gave us a base recipe and basically said to add ingredients to our own taste.  Here is my version of her base recipe:

Ingredients:

1 Can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

1 Tbs Olive Oil

1 Tbs minced garlic (pictured below on top of garbanzo beans in strainer)

1 tsp salt (you may not need salt depending on how salty the beans are from the can)

1 Lemon

1/4 C Tahini (Trader Joe’s brand is cheapest but Central Market, Sprouts, and Kroger carry Tahini)
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Drain and Rinse the beans.  Pour beans, tahini, garlic, and olive oil into blender/vitamix/ninja/food processor and pulse.  Add more olive oil if the mixture seems too dry, the juice of an entire lemon (and zest if you have a zester!  I don’t!) and 1 tsp salt (if you are so inclined) and pulse until smooth (see below).
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Taste hummus and see if you want to add more garlic, salt, or olive oil.  Enjoy with carrots, celery, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pita chips, bread, crackers, etc…I also enjoy spreading hummus on a whole wheat tortilla with chopped bell pepper and spinach to create a wrap!  Let me know if you try it!!!  Hummus is our favorite snack around here and Noah loves it!!!!

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