The first time ever encountered hummus was in a Greek restaurant. I don’t really remember which one or where it was. I just remember thinking it might be time to think outside the box and try something besides a dolmades, stuffed chicken breast, or saganaki. I was not disappointed and have loved it ever since. Of course, I had to try to make it at home.
Hummus is easy enough to make at home if you own a blender or a food processor. There is no need for packet mixes or buying it premade from the store. Making it at home also allows you to control the fat content, flavors, and consistency of the finished product.
Garbanzo beans, aka chick peas, are fairly inexpensive and readily available at grocery stores.
Some people cook their own garbanzo beans, and I have tried without much success. I can never seem to get my beans cooked well enough to avoid a lumpy and crunchy hummus so I stick to canned. Bush’s does a great job of cooking garbanzo beans to perfection, so I’ll let them do the hard part.
Tahini can be expensive, but a jar will last you for a very long time and keeps well in the refrigerator. I don’t like a lot of tahini, so mine lasts me at least a year. Just make sure you mix it up really well before using as it tends to separate, like natural peanut butter.
I use some extra virgin olive oil for flavor, but the majority of the liquid in my version come from the liquid from the cans of beans. Using the bean liquid allows me to achieve a fluffy and creamy texture without adding too many calories.
I know I shouldn’t worry about the fat from the olive oil since it’s a good fat, but calories are calories no matter which kind of fat you use. I always need to save calories where I can so I have room for chocolate chip cookies or brownies later.
Lemon juice is always best if you have fresh lemons. I almost always have a few lemons hanging out in the refrigerator so I cannot say how this would turn out using bottled lemon juice. I’m sure it would be fine, just will not have the brightness fresh lemon juice brings to a dish.
Serve this with pita bread or make a batch of homemade flat bread, you’ll be glad you did. Also goes great with carrots and celery.
Put garlic into food processor and pulse until garlic is finely minced.
Add garbanzo beans to bowl of food processor. If you are using a blender you might want to cut the ingredients in half and make in two batches.
Process the garbanzo beans for about 30 seconds.
Add olive oil and process another 30 seconds.
Add tahini, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Process for at least a minute or until all garbanzo beans are pulverized beyond recognition.
Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of reserved liquid.
Process another 30 seconds.
Take off lid and test for taste and consistency.
Add more tahini, salt, or lemon juice if desired. Process until well mixed.
For a fluffier hummus, add more olive oil or reserved liquid a tablespoons or so at a time and process for an additional 30 seconds, checking again after each addition.
For roasted red pepper hummus, add up to one cup of roasted red peppers from a jar that have been blotted dry before adding any additional bean liquid. Taste for sonsistency before adding more liquid. Add liquid a tablespoons or so at a time until it's the thickness you prefer.