Homemade oil-free hummus is a classic 'must-have.' Our favorite blend with a pinch of cumin and a whole lotta adoration is healthier (and tastier) than any of those store-bought spreads.
We're all about healthy hummus today. So what on earth can I add to the plethora of hummus recipes with this all-around classic? How about a bit of oil-free magic, a tried and true 'best' blending method, and superior flavor courtesy of a few ingredients? So, let's take all this on and get you to mouth-watering hummus in less than 15 minutes.
Hummus among us
Hummus (also known as "houmous," "humus," "hommus," or "hommos") in Arabic means chickpea. Yep, this classic Middle Eastern dip is all about chickpeas. Anything else, like one of our favorites, sweet potato dip, might remind you of hummus because it's got tahini, but it ain't hummus. At least, that's how I (and others) qualify it.
Chickpeas are the hummus super-ingredient – perhaps even more essential than tahini. Although I'd make a strong case that both are pretty darned important. From a health standpoint, even when blended, chickpeas are still a great source of fiber and protein.
Should you peel chickpeas?
If you ask the Google world or wherever your gateway to the Internet universe begins, and you start reading the 'experts' advice about peeling chickpeas, the debate will become apparent. It's confusing.
My peel or no peel advice is based on my own testing as well as the tons of chickpeas we consume.
In all those tons and the more to come, I never peel chickpeas. That's my bottom line.
I will agree that peeling the skins of chickpeas can yield a slightly creamier hummus. However, in my humble opinion is that it isn't worth the time, patience, and loss of fiber. I won't stop you from peeling if it's your heart's desire. Grab a chair, a plate for the skins, and a bowl for your final product. When I've tested this, it's taken about 15 minutes to peel a 15-ounce can.
Quality in, flavor out
All recipes benefit from quality ingredients. Hummus is no exception. Tahini, I point to you.
There can be a substantive difference between brands of tahini, a.k.a. sesame seed paste. This depends on the quality of sesame seeds used and if they are roasted. Look out for brands that contain added oil. Those are usually the cheaper ones. Be sure to read the label when you buy it. Check if your tahini has added salt as this may impact your decision to add what is suggested in our recipe.
If you want top-quality tahini, make your own. It's quality assurance supreme. Thus far, I've never found a better flavor than when I toast sesame seeds and process them until they are smooth. Sound intriguing? Pop over to my tips and tricks for making oil-free tahini.
While we're talking about quality ingredients, fresh lemon juice is always preferable to the squeeze kind. If you decide to add lemon zest as a garnish for the top, try to use organic lemons. Otherwise, half a large lemon should do the trick. You want ¼ of a cup or more if you like more lemon.
I may not have grown up eating tubs of hummus, but I've made a commendable effort to make
up for the lost time. Along the way, I've learned a few tricks.
Believe it or not, it's all about the order of ingredients, and it goes like this:
1. In a food processor or blender, add the tahini, minced garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and a pinch of salt (¼ tsp.). Process until it's smooth. The tahini will get thinner and slightly lighter.
2. Add half the chickpeas and blend until it smooths out. Then add the rest of the chickpeas and continue processing. Taste the hummus for flavor, texture, and consistency.
3. To thin our and fluff up your hummus, add cold water. Start with a tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency. Each time you add a tablespoon of water, blend relentlessly. Then test for consistency and add more. Likewise, if you like your hummus on the lemony side, you can add lemon juice in place of the water.
Don't let that stop you. Sans electricity or a food processor, hummus can be made entirely by hand. That's how it was done in the 'olden times,' and we can recreate that. Grab a small bowl and mix the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, and salt. In another bowl or a pestle and mortar, mash the chickpeas. Think of it as an opportunity to work out your aggressions, frustrations, or your biceps. Add the tahini mixture to the chickpeas and keep on mashing. Add more lemon juice or cold water until it's smooth. That'll get you through a blackout or that camping trip in style.
Got hummus? Now what?
Take the spoon out of your mouth. You're done taste testing. It's time to serve up and even share your yummy hummus.
Take a moment to garnish it. Chopped parsley or cilantro go well with hummus. If you like extra spices, consider sumac for another level of tartness or paprika or cayenne powder or a bit of heat. You can get creative with a palate of chickpeas, tahini, cumin, and lemon juice. It's open to multiple possibilities and a universe of flavors.
Not just a pretty dip
When there's hummus among us, we can go crazy. Here are a few ideas:
1. Hummus is the only spread you need for making great wraps. Slather it on a potato flatbread add any veggie you like. You can even top it off with a trick-out dressing like lemon tahini or sriracha tahini. More tahini? Can't go wrong there.
2. Pizza – of course! Who needs a pizza sauce when you can make Greek flatbread pizzas? So good these are, in fact, that they deserve homemade pita bread if you have the yeast and time. Highly recommended!
3. Stuffed portobello mushrooms, anyone? You might think it's a bit odd, but don't knock it until you've tried it, my friend.
4. Top off baked white or sweet potatoes or make 'em twice-baked by mashing the potato and mixing it with the hummus. Pop those babies back into the oven with a few chickpeas on top and a pinch of smoked paprika. Now that's dinner!
5. And if you want a healthy snack to encourage Buggs Bunny level carrot eating. Ya, this is the stuff for that too.
Another reason to revel in your own hummus making is that it's one of those recipes you can make on the fly. There's nothing exotic about the ingredients. It takes minutes. And it's so versatile that you can put a flavorful twist on all kinds of foods.
To all this, I say 'leave the quilt behind', delight in your oil-free hummus, with inspired flavors you love. Mouth-wateringly spreadable, highly edible, and can't keep away from it repeatable. Grab the blender and make it your own. Peace.Print
Oil-free hummus is with a pinch of cumin, and a whole lotta adoration is healthier (and tastier) and any of those store-bought spreads.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 ½ cups 1x
- Category: On the Side
- Cuisine: Plant-based
- Diet: Vegan
- ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- A pinch of salt
- 1 – 15 oz. (400 gm.) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3-4 Tbsp. cold water
- Add the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt (¼ tsp.) to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
- Add half of the chickpeas and continue blending for a few minutes.
- Add the rest of the chickpeas and blend until your hummus is smooth. Test the texture and flavor.
- Add cold water a tablespoon at a time (or substitute with more lemon juice). Blend after each additional tablespoon.
- Garnish with additional ground cumin, chopped parsley or cilantro, sumac, or other toppings if desired.
- Store hummus in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 5 days.
- Hummus is best if made with high-quality tahini. Look for brands that only contain ground sesame seeds and no additional oil.
- You do not need to peel the chickpeas for hummus. If you do, the hummus will be just slightly creamier, so balance that with the effort and how anxious you are for all that yummy hummus.
- Ice cold water helps make hummus lighter. You can also use ice cubes or chips. Be careful to add only a little, blend, and repeat until you get the consistency where you want it.
Keywords: oil-free hummus