It’s a spread. It’s a dip. It’s good!
Why I love hummus?
Well it’s healthy, it’s easy to make, and it fills me up when I’m in a rush, but mostly because I love the way it tastes.
Health Benefits of Hummus
What’s in it? Made mostly of chickpeas (better known to some as garbanzo beans) and tahini (sesame seed paste). I always have to add some cumin, lemon juice, and loads of garlic to my recipe. It’s delicious eaten on some type of flat bread, cracker or veggie like sliced cucumber, carrot, or zucchini. It even tastes good with broccoli. Not only is hummus a tasty addition to any diet, it is also super good for you.
The lowly chickpea is actually a high-protein legume which dates back thousands of years to the Middle East.
Tahini is another name for sesame paste. It looks a whole lot like peanut butter but has a much stronger flavor and to me tastes a little bitter, so I use it sparingly. I go heavy on the lemon juice and garlic, and add cumin and olive oil to bring it all together. So the end result is a dip or paste loaded with protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, immune boosting vitamin C, folic acid, amino acids…the list goes on. All of these things will protect your brain and heart from degenerative disease, regulate blood sugar and may even boost your mood and help you sleep.
How to prepare chickpeas? (if you’re not using the canned version)
You can definitely make hummus with canned chickpeas or garbanzos, but sometimes the end result is a little gritty feeling to the palate. Using canned is definitely convenient and super quick, but when I cook the chickpeas using my pressure cooker, the hummus turns out silky smooth. The pressure cooker breaks down the skins of the beans, which is why makes for that gritty texture in a canned bean-based version. With the popularity of the Intant Pot, whipping up a batch of chickpeas is easy peasy. It just requires a little bit more planning.
Of note, although not necessary, presoaking the beans overnight helps with any digestive distress you may suffer after eating beans. Just an FYI. The presoaked beans cook a little quicker, too.
Pressure Cooker Chickpeas
1 cup dried chickpeas, sorted and rinsed
4 cups water (if cooking the chickpeas)
1 Tablespoon oil
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chickpea cooking liquid
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup tahini
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon ground coriander (optional)
½ teaspoon cayenne or paprika
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (I usually use a little less than that)
Pressure Cook the Chickpeas: PLACE dried chickpeas, 4 cups water and 1 Tablespoon olive oil in the pressure cooker.
Lock the lid and COOK at HIGH pressure for 35 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally (this should take about 10-15 minutes). If beans are not soft enough, SIMMER on the stove for another few minutes until beans are VERY soft.
DRAIN beans, but REMEMBER to SAVE 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid for use later in the recipe.
Make the Hummus: With food processor running, ADD peeled garlic through the feed tube. PROCESS until it is completely chopped, about 30 seconds. If using a blending, just add minced garlic to the blender.
ADD chickpeas and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. PROCESS until the chickpeas are broken up and pretty much mashed. ADD the cooking liquid, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, coriander and cayenne.
PROCESS for 15 seconds and then SCRAPE down the sides of the food processor with a spatula. PROCESS until completely combined.
Turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle the olive oil in through the feed tube in a thin stream. Continue to process for another 30 seconds or so until the hummus looks silky smooth. TASTE. ADD additional salt and seasonings as needed. PLACE hummus in a serving dish. DRIZZLE with more olive oil and SERVE with pita chips or fresh veggies.