Hummus with Warm Pita Chips (hummus recipe and video tutorial follow) – Hummus is one of the absolute easiest things in the world to make – if you have a food processor :)! This makes a really great appetizer for a party or for your family. It is also a nice healthy snack. It goes well served with pita chips, or some nice crudite-pronounced crew-di-tay (raw veggies). You can make it a day or two in advance and it will keep in the fridge for about four days after the day you make it. I like to put it on the dining table while I cook dinner for the kids to munch on with crudite. This helps with the “Mom, when’s dinner going to be done” question and also helps to ensure they get a good dose of veggies with their dinner – very important! You will also notice that I use canned chickpeas in this recipe. Using dried ones will provide more nutrition, canned is faster. I included how to prepare the dried chickpeas after the recipe so you have the option to do it either way. I also love to talk to my family about food origin and love the opportunity to teach them about different countries and their food cultures. Hummus comes from the Middle East-there are a few theories about exactly where, but Israelis and Palestinians commonly consume it. Food history is super interesting and I highly recommend checking some out! In the mean time – have some hummus! Happy cooking!
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans *see note about using dried chickpeas-much healthier
1/2 cup tahini paste
1-2 cloves garlic (you can adjust the amount according to your own taste)
1 teaspoon cumin
2-3 Tablespoon lemon juice (fresh squeezed if possible)
1 teaspoon salt
1. Pour the chickpeas into a strainer and drain and rinse your chickpeas until the bubbles are gone-it is very important to get rid of the bubbles or you’ll give everyone gas *see note on using dried chickpeas.
2. Place the chickpeas into a food processor and puree. If you have time after this step allow to chill one hour (it helps the texture), if you don’t have time, don’t worry, it’s cool, just move onto the next step.
3. Add the tahini paste, garlic, cumin, lemon juice and salt.
4. Puree to desired consistency-if it is to thick, add a little water and puree some more (keep in mind that it may thicken up a little upon standing).
5. Serve with delicious warm pita chips – recipe follows.
Canned Chickpeas -vs- Regular – let’s compare some labels
omega-3 – canned chickpeas contain around 48% less omega-3 fatty acid
Niacin- 50-75% less in canned chickpeas
Folate- 50-75% less in canned chickpeas
amino acids- 35% less in canned chickpeas
Sodium- canned contain about 52% more
All that said, it’s OK to use canned if you just want a quick snack and weren’t planning ahead. Don’t let me make you feel guilty, I use canned about half the time too. :) One thing to keep in mind though is that canned have more of tendency to cause gas. If you’re having a snack by yourself, I suppose this makes no difference. If you are entertaining a bunch of people, you a may want to take it into consideration! :)
How to cook your dried Chickpeas.
1. Spread one cup dried chickpeas out on a plate.
2. Check through them for damaged chickpeas, yucky ones, and pebbles-remove the unwanted ones.
3. Put them in a bowl and fill it with water, swirl them with your hand (the water will cloud up), strain them and repeat-do this until the water stays pretty clear.
4. Soak in clean water with 1 Tbls of baking soda overnight.
5. Drain and place back in the bowl with clean water.
6. Soak the chickpeas for an additional three hours.
7. Place them in a large pot with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, bring them to a boil and cook for 45 minutes.
8. Drain them and put them back into the pot. Cover them with water.
9. Bring the chickpeas to a boil and cook them until you can easily mash one between your fingers.
10. Remove the peels and foam that rise to the top during cooking and discard them.
11. Drain the chickpeas (save one cup of water for thinning the hummus if needed (it has more flavor then out of the tap)) and allow the chickpeas to cool.
12. Continue with the recipe above.
Why all the soaking and draining?
The answer is simple and not so simple. The simple answer-you don’t want to give everyone gas. The not so simple answer-beans contain oligosaccharides. This is a sugar that, because of its large molecular size, our bodies don’t break down. It makes it way through our small intestines where most sugars are absorbed and into our large intestine. When it makes its way into our large intestine, the bacteria that live there have a small party (they never get sugar, so it’s a treat). They process the oligosaccharide, this produces gas-not so good. The sugar is water soluble though – Yay! That means that if you soak your beans and change the water, you pour the oligosaccharide down the drain. This is also why it’s important to change the water. The water can only “hold” so much. It’s kind of like when you dissolve salt in water for a brine, if you put in too much, it doesn’t all dissolve. Also, don’t cook the beans in the soaking water. It defeats the purpose!
Warm Pita Chips
2 pieces pita bread
1 Tablespoon olive oil (enough to brush on pita)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Pre-heat your oven to 400°F.
2. Lightly brush the pita bread with olive oil.
3. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
4. Cut it into triangles.
5. Bake the pita at 400° until it’s warm-three minutes or so.
6. Serve the warm pita with your delicious homemade hummus.
Please enjoy this “how-to” video!