When someone says cooking something from scratch is as easy as buying it ready-made, it’s usually just not true. But hummus comes really close. You throw everything in a food processor, flip the switch, and it’s pretty much done.
The best part of whipping up a batch from scratch? You can customize it to suit your taste: a little more lemon if you like it bright, more oil or tahini for a richer dip, pureed until silky smooth or kept a little chunky.
And once you’ve perfected the basic lemon-tahini version, you can branch out: Blend in sriracha, and cayenne for an extra-spicy version, or roasted eggplant and smoked paprika for an earthy take on the classic. Kick up the color by blending in peppadew peppers or roasted beets, make an uber-tangy hummus with pickles, dill, and scallions, or add marinated artichokes, parsley, and mint for a whole new take on artichoke dip. All it takes is one bowl and the push of a button. As simple as store-bought? Maybe not. But with just five minutes from can to bowl, who cares?
The Health Benefits of Hummus
- It’s a plant-based protein
- Low in calories
- High in fiber that promotes good gut bacteria
- Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory benefits
- Sesame seeds (tahini) also reduces inflammation
- Low on the glycemic index, so may help control blood sugar levels
- Gluten-, nut-, and dairy-free
How to Make Homemade Hummus From Scratch
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons baking soda, divided
- 3 garlic cloves
- 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup tahini (homemade is best)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil for garnish
- Place the chickpeas and one teaspoon of the baking soda into a large covered saucepan. Add enough water to bring the level of the water 2 inches above the chickpeas. Soak overnight, at least 12 hours. (If your kitchen is warm, store the chickpeas in the refrigerator).
- The next day, rinse and drain the chickpeas. Return them to the saucepan and cover again with water 2 inches above the level of the chickpeas. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and cook until the beans are soft and beginning to fall apart (about 60 minutes). As the beans cook skins will loosen and float to the surface; skim them off and discard.
- When the beans are tender (you want them almost falling apart), allow them to cool in their cooking liquid, stirring them from time to time to loosen the skins; strain off any that float to the top.
- While the chickpeas are cooling, blend the garlic with the lemon juice and salt in a food processor and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the tahini and continue blending until smooth, light, and fluffy. If the mixture seems too stiff, add 1 tablespoon of ice water.
- When the chickpeas are cooled, drain them, discarding the skins that separate from the peas, and add them to the food processor. Blend until completely smooth, 3-4 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt or lemon juice as necessary.
- Serve with a generous drizzle of olive oil on top.
Creative Ways to Use Hummus
Sure you can use hummus as a dip for chips and fresh vegetables, but let’s use our imagination. Here are some other ideas:
- Mix 1/2 cup of hummus into one pound of ground beef before forming into hamburger patties.
- Thin hummus with chicken broth, stir in a tablespoon or so of rice vinegar and use to coat cooked rice noodles.
- Make a salad with shredded rotisserie chicken, feta cheese, diced red bell pepper, and hummus in place of the traditional Greek yogurt or mayonnaise.
- Make pizza. Brush pita bread rounds with olive oil and bake in a 200°C oven until browned and crisp. Remove from oven and spread on hummus. Top with diced tomato, Kalamata olives, cucumber, and fresh arugula tossed with olive oil and a little lemon juice.
- Ali makes an easy and healthy hummus-crusted chicken that is a sheet pan meal (everything cooks together). She adds summer squash and zucchini and uses boneless skinless chicken breasts. The chicken is flavoured by and kept moist with a thick coating of hummus.