Let’s face it. Hummus is pretty awesome. If you are a hummus hater, stop reading and never come back to this blog (not really, we’d likely forgive you). But there are a million reasons why we enjoy this chickpea delight, but really it just comes down to the general awesomeness and pure goodness of what it is. Really tasty. Really really tasty.
If that doesn’t entice you, here are more technical reasons to promote the eating of hummus. Did you know hummus is made up of beans? Beans in general have been linked to various health benefits, lower blood cholesterol being one. They may also help prevent cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, early lab tests show that three compounds in beans (saponins, protease inhibitors, and phytic acid) may help defend cells from the type of genetic damage that can lead to cancer. One way I like to incorporate beans into my diet is by making hummus, which is made with garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas). I use this traditionally Middle Eastern spread as a healthy veggie dip with an assortment of veggies such as carrots, celery, cauliflower, bell peppers, jicama and broccoli, but I also like to dip pita bread in it or add it as a spread on sandwiches. Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of protein, rich in fiber, protective plant chemicals, and vitamin E, high in folate and magnesium, and a good source of minerals, including iron, zinc, and calcium. And, they are high in potassium to help balance body fluids and protect against fluid retention.
You can find pre-made hummus in grocery stores, but it’s easy to make at home in a blender or food processor. The Cuisinart Mini Food Processor works great! Here’s my favorite hummus recipe:
2 cloves garlic
1 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained but reserve liquid
2 Tbsp. Tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tbsp. or more freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbsp. or more olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. water or liquid from the beans
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
3 green onions, thinly sliced reserving some for garnish
Puree garlic, garbanzo beans, Tahini, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor or blender. If more liquid is needed, use more lemon juice, olive oil and/or a little water or reserved liquid. Add seasonings, puree to blend in and taste. Chop parsley and green onions (if using). Add half of these to processor and pulse several times. Place hummus in a serving bowl. Use remaining parsley and green onion for garnish. I hope you enjoy!