Only hippies eat Hummus

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Oh this is SO not true.
Besides this being super yummy, which may be the main reason for it’s popularity, hummus is also jam packed with healthy stuff and is an easy way to get protein. If you have kids, even the wee toddlers that may not eat a whole lot of meat, or if you are vegetarian yourself, hummus is an easy way to get your hemoglobin up.
Did you know that one serving of Hummus (this varies from 1 tablespoon to 1 cup depending on who you ask) contains 8 essential amino acids? The name ‘essential’ is used to describe amino acids that our body doesn’t make on its own and must get through our diet. The amino acids are:
-isoleucine -leucine -lysine -phenylalanine -valine -tryptophan -methionine -threonine
The last three in that list are found in the tahini only, not in the chick peas, which is why it’s important to try and keep tahini on hand when you are in the mood for some hummus. This is particularly important for vegans who need to be aware of their amino acid intake as well as protein.

Hummus is high in Omega 3 healthy fats which are a good mood enhancer, helpful for those who suffer from mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
Hummus also contains other crucial nutrients like Manganese, Copper, Sodium, Calcium, Zinc, Iron and Magnesium. It’s relatively high in vitamin C and B6 too. Who would’ve thunk it!?

Hummus has no cholesterol and because of its high protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates, it has been helpful in lowering ones ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL). Also, because you can replace high cholesterol foods like butter, mayonnaise, margarine and cheese spreads with hummus, you can improve your overall cardiovascular health with this wonderful stuff.
Making this yourself, guarantees the quality of nutrition you are getting. It’s also super cheap and you can have fun with it by making simple adjustments to the basic ingredients to suit your taste and mood.
Does that explain my mood yesterday when I made three different flavors from the one batch of hummus?
Here is my go-to basic recipe that is made in our house almost weekly.

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Ingredients
2 15ounce cans of chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1/3 cup of lemon juice
(Fresh is always best but the substitute works. Even adding lime when you’re low on lemon works)
1/4 cup of tahini, well stirred
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped (see below, for a quick way to peel garlic cloves)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons of coarse salt

Before draining and rinsing the chick peas, reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid from the can. Place the rinsed beans in a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.
It’s that easy!

TIP: To quickly peel garlic cloves, rather than standing there peeling off small slivers of peel and getting garlic juice under your finger nails, you can squash the cloves gently with the side of a knife. This cracks the clove and it’s peel which should then come off in one whole piece.

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So then we move on to the multi-personality hummus.

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I made one batch, scooped out a bowl of the original (about half the mixture) and added roasted red peppers to the food processor. I reserved some of this red pepper hummus but left a little in the machine to then add some fresh basil leaves. (Notice Miss 3’s little hand on the food processor? She helped me rip the basil leaves and put them in). After processing this, I then had three different flavors of hummus for dipping or sandwiches.

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My girls will eat endless carrots, pepper (capsicum, for my Aussie readers) and cucumber, if I serve it with hummus. They have it on sandwiches with cucumber and tuna too.
Let me know how this recipe works for you and if you came up with any other varieties.
Happy Hummus!

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