Homemade hummus!

by Melanie in IA

Do you remember the first time you had hummus? Maybe it was at a friend’s house, or at a Middle Eastern restaurant. Its mild nutty flavor, enhanced with lemon and garlic, probably accompanied pita or raw veggies.

If you were hooked, you noticed it in the grocery after that, and you may have picked up an 8-ounce tub for between three to four dollars. It comes in several flavors at the store, with extra garlic, hot stuff, black olives… You may have tried a different kind each time.

But if you’re cheap like me, or if you like making food from scratch so you control what goes in it, like I do, you might hesitate to buy it very often.

You can make hummus from scratch, and pretty easily, too, if you have a food processor. And if you want to step back one more step and use dried garbanzo beans instead of canned, you’ll also need a slow cooker.

Note: garbanzo beans are also called “chickpeas.”

Hummus

  • 1 16 oz can of garbanzo beans, or 2 cups cooked beans as below
  • juice of 1 lemon (3-4 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cayenne to taste (optional)

Drain beans and combine in food processor with the other ingredients. Pulse several times until mixed. Scrape sides and blend until smooth*. Empty into serving dish if serving immediately, or into refrigerator dish with cover to store. Serve with warm pita, whole wheat crackers, or fresh vegetables.

*You can see by this close-up it isn’t really smooth but grainy.

If you want to start with dried garbanzo beans, I’ll refer you to Alton Brown’s expertise. He says to use 1 pound of beans, rinsed and sorted. Place the beans in a 2.5 quart slow cooker with 7 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.

Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours, or low heat for 8 to 9 hours, or until tender. Drain and serve immediately, or use in desired dish.

This makes a lot more beans than your recipe needs! What to do with the extras? Freeze them! Drain cooked beans completely. Portion them into freezer bags in a single layer so the beans don’t clump together when freezing. You can stack several bags on top of each other this way, also.

Jim and I enjoyed my fresh batch of hummus for supper last night, and later today I’ll share with my friend Beth.

Next time I make hummus, I’ll try using the slow cooker for beans, rather than buying canned. Cooking from scratch gives me better control of ingredients, especially sodium, and it is less expensive, too.

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