I tried my hand at making hummus today; it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but I never got around to it. But now with all this spare time, why not? Considering how much I love Mediterranean food, it’s surprising that I haven’t done it before.
Now, when some people make hummus, they start off with canned chickpeas. But I decided to use these:
Dried chickepeas! Getting these ready for hummus-ing is a little time-intensive, but I’m not really doing anything ‘cept bumming around waiting. Plus I get to control the amount of salt that goes into my hummus.
So the first thing I did is soak the garbanzo beans overnight. In the morning, they looked like this:
They look like they’re ready, but the beans are still pretty hard and inedible. So then I put them in a pot with plenty of water and brought the whole thing to a boil. Once it started boiling, I reduced it to medium heat and waited for an hour and a half for them to cook.
When they were nice and fork-able, I drained the chickpeas, keeping the water that they were cooked in for later hummus use.
Then I minced some garlic and pasted it with some salt. The recipe calls for a mortar and pestle job, but I didn’t think it was worth it for this small of an amount.
I pretty much just diced the garlic really, really fine then sprinkled salt on it. I then got my knife and kept on smooshing it through the mix, scraping when needed. When you press the flat of your knife against the garlic, the salt acts as an abrasive and helps it break down into a paste.
This garlic-salt paste went into a food processor with some lemon juice and tahini.
Tahini is a sesame seed paste that is often used in Mediterranean cooking. And because it’s pure sesame seed, this gloop is loaded with minerals like iron, magnesium, manganese, copper… It’s also an excellent source of the amino acid methionine, which complements the protein in the chickpeas. And because these nutrients are better absorbed into your body when you eat the sesame seeds crushed rather than whole, tahini is an ideal form of sesame nutrition. In fact, the main reason why hummus is so good for you is because of the tahini; some of the chickpea nutrition is cooked out during the long boiling process.
And you’ll notice that I once again used my handy-dandy Rice to Riches spoon for this.
So I blended these the tahini-lemon-garlic-salt mixture in the processor until it was well-blended and light in color:
They are now ready to receive the chickpeas.
After whirring for a minute or so, you’ll notice that your hummus-to-be looks like this:
Kinda crumbly and chunky. It definitely doesn’t look like the smooth, velvety hummus that it’s supposed to be. This is where that chickpea water comes in. To this I added a little bit of olive oil and the reserved water that the beans were cooked in. You add it little by little until the hummus becomes the consistency that you want it to be. I added a good amount because I like my hummus a little on the thin side – that way it’s less likely to break whatever you’re dipping into it.
So after a good amount of chickpea water spooning, my hummus turned out like this:
Yay! It’s done! Well, actually not quite. At this point, the hummus is a little warm because of all that blending. So I spooned it out into a plastic container and put it in the refrigerator to cool down a little.
The parts that I couldn’t get, I just ate with baby carrots.
After the hummus was cool, I scooped some out and enjoyed with some veggies and failed bread that I toasted.
Of course, hummus is usually enjoyed with pita bread. But seeing as how I didn’t have any, I made do with these guys.
I also sprinkled a little cayenne pepper on top of my single-serving hummus for a liiittle extra kick.
Let me tell you, it was pretty darn yummy. Maybe not Astoria-Greek-restaurant level, but still quite delicious. The first flavor I tasted was the garlic, then the chickpea and sesame tastes came into play.
Now you guys already know how nutritious tahini makes this dip. But it’s also high in iron and vitamin C, with significant amounts of folate and vitamin B6. Plus, the chickpeas make it an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber.
Plus, it’s very customizable. There are so many things you can add to this – sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, jalepeno, cilantro… The possibilities are endless.
Today was also exciting because my mom brought home a tray of wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass is pretty much just grass that’s been sprouted from wheat. It’s been really popular with health-junkies these days, and it’s been said that it can do everything from cure cancer to heavy-duty detoxification. But the chlorophyll in wheatgrass does make it really good for you – it contains a lot of enzymes and increases blood count and helps lower blood pressure. The grass is usually juiced into little wheatgrass shots, but applied directly to your skin, it stops itching, soothes cuts and burns, disinfects scrapes… I’ve been getting some eczema on my arms and legs lately; hopefully this will help relieve some of it.
This grass is still a little young, but once it reaches full grass-length, I’m supposed to cut it up and add it to my smoothies. See, our human digestive system can’t break down grass fiber – that’s why it’s juiced most of the time. Even cows need 4 stomachs to eat their grass! But by chopping it up into little pieces, I can get both grassy and fibery benefits. Alls I need to do is spritz my mini-lawn a few times a day with water and harvest a handful when I want to add it to my smoothies. Can’t wait to try it out!