This creamy hummus is one of my all time favorite spreads. I love using it as a dip with various different veggie sticks or spread on lettuce leaves topped with peppers, tomato and cucumber for a quick lettuce wrap. It has a rich, exotic flavor and is versatile and full of nutrients & healthy fats. It can, however, be hard to find a good quality hummus with just the right taste, and I have wasted many tubs before finding my favorites. While most hummus’s have the same four key ingredients; lemon, chickpeas, tahini & garlic, it is all about the perfect balance of these. Too grainy a texture or too bitter a taste completely ruin a hummus and after a lot of trial and error I want to share my own simple version + some simple tips on how to get a smooth and creamy hummus that is not bitter in taste. The best thing about making your own hummus is that you can alter the flavors to your own liking and change it up by roasting the garlic or adding olives, roasted peppers and other herbs & spices for variation.
I love the fresh & tart flavour the fresh lemon juice adds to this hummus and find that it balances out the flavour from the garlic and cumin really well. Perfect for a sandwich spread or a dip served with falafel & vegetables – and of course without any offensive preservatives or additives.
The primary ingredients in hummus is chickpeas, which, like most legumes, are highly valued for their high fiber content. Besides fiber, chickpeas are very high in folate, manganese & tryptophan as well as a good plant source of protein and iron. With 12.5 gm fiber per cup they help stabilize and control huger as well as blood sugar levels and also promote a healthy digestive system, all of which are helpful for weight loss and weight maintenance. The high amount of insoluble fiber found in chickpeas are especially beneficial for the health of our intestines and research studies are in fact pointing to chickpeas as a food that can help lower the risk of colon cancer, which sadly is becoming more common in many Western countries that tend not to get enough dietary fiber. Chickpeas also lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol and provide a unique array of many amazing antioxidants.
Key tips to making a great hummus
- Whip the lemon juice and tahini first before adding any of the other ingredients. You’ll notice the color lightening very quickly and this step sets you up for a nice & silky hummus.
- Avoid adding the olive oil to the blender – stir it in by hand at the very end instead. Not only does this add to the creamy texture, it also preserves the taste of the olive oil, which can be altered by the heat from a high-speed blender.
- When buying tahini look for a raw tahini made from unroasted sesame seeds. Also check that it doesn’t have any added oil, as some brands adds up to 15% extra sesame oil. You want it thick and light in color with a little oil floating on top.
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice as this has a much better flavor than bottled lemon juice, which is most often made from a concentrate.
- Use a high-speed food processor or blender, such as a vitamix. This hummus will not work with a handheld mixer as a handheld simply will not blend all the ingredients together properly, which as result leaves you with a rough textured hummus – not a creamy one.
Many original hummus recipes call for home soaked chickpeas. I find that this doesn’t make a big difference and am quite happy with using a good brand of canned organic chickpeas. Similarly, peeling the skins off of the chickpeas is also said to enhance the creamy texture, but considering how time consuming this is, I find that skipping this step is completely fine and actually makes little difference. Of course, if you have the time or have kids who loves that sort of thing… by all means go for it!
- • 3 cups organic chickpeas (2 x 15 oz cans)
- • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 2 large lemons)
- • ¼ cup tahini* (sesame paste)
- • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- • 1-2 clove garlic (or to taste)
- • pinch lemon zest (optional)
- • Sea salt & pepper (I normally use around 3-4 tsp salt & 1-2 tsp pepper)
- • ½ tsp ground cumin (or to taste)
- • 1 cup + 2 tbsp water
- • 1-2 tsp parsley, finely chopped
- • ½ tsp paprika
- Drain, wash & strain chickpeas
- Whisk together lemon juice and tahini. You can do this with a hand held whisker or in a blender. Do this until it is mixed very well and the color lightens
- Add chickpeas, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Blend until completely smooth.
- Taste and add more salt/pepper/cumin as needed. Here you can also add more water if a thinner consistency is desired.
- Transfer to bowl and stir in the olive oil. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley, paprika & black pepper before serving.