Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hooray for hummus

A great snack food, made from the very versatile chick pea or garbanzo bean has really been a regular around our house of late. It is really healthy and easy to make, plus my husband loves it -- and I don't always find good healthy things he likes!

I have heard that hummus is an African snack and also a middle eastern snack and I really don't know which is correct. I do know it is easy to make in a food processor. While I am dieting, I like making it low-fat, but it can be smoother and more palatable if a little olive oil and/or tahini is added. Mine has a little red bell pepper, and if you look closely, you will see the little red flecks.

You can buy it in the dairy case at the grocery store but read the ingredients carefully, because there can be way too much fat and unhealthy ingredients in the ready-made version. It also is pretty expensive in the grocery store compared to how easy and inexpensive it is to make at home.

I used carrots and celery today, because that is what I have on hand, but hummus is really great with cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and broccoli, too.

Fat-free Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
(or use 1 1/2 cups of dried, well-cooked garbanzo beans, drained)
1 to 3 cloves of garlic (my husband likes less garlic)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (sometimes I use balsamic vinegar)
3 tablespoons red bell pepper, optional (hot peppers are also good, to taste)
salt, to taste

To be more traditional and smooth, add:
2 to 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

Put all ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth. Serve as a dip with fresh vegetable like carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers and more.

1 comment:

  1. How interesting! We've been eating a lot of (store-bought) hummus at home, and Liz has been snacking on it at the office! I'll have to try making it sometime.