Hummus (or houmous) is an Arabic word meaning “chickpeas” and represents a dip or spread made from cooked and mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. I think it is already obvious how easy it actually is to make hummus 🙂
But what are chickpeas?
Chickpeas are a vegetable that have been cultivated throughout the Middle East and India for thousands of years. The first record of chickpeas being consumed dates back around 7000 years. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans grew them. During the 16th century, chickpeas were brought to other subtropical regions of the world by Spanish or Portuguese explorers, but also Indians who emigrated to other countries. Nowadays, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Ethiopia, and Mexico are the main commercial producers of chickpeas. Garbanzo beans (official name) have a nutlike taste and buttery texture, yet a bit pasty. They provide a concentrated source of protein available all year round either dried or canned.
Why should you eat chickpeas?
- They support your digestion. Chickpeas contains a large amount of dietary fiber (about 35 g per cup), which is already more than the needed daily value! But don’t worry, you won’t actually eat one entire cup for a meal. These dietary fibres support the intestinal peristalsis and therefore result in regular stools.
- They curb sugar. Chickpeas impede the sudden absorption of glucose into the blood, so that the blood sugar level rises only moderately in the presence of dietary fiber.
- They help control your weight. I always feel full relatively quickly after eating hummus. That’s because the dietary fiber in chickpeas fill the stomach and satiate. Furthermore, they contain fewer calories that the same amounts of food that are low in dietary fiber. I am not saying that chickpeas or hummus help you lose weight or are low in calories, but included regularly in your diet they are a great support in controlling your weight.
Where can you buy chickpeas?
Luckily pretty much everywhere: at most supermarkets and food online shops. I used to buy them dry, but I find the cooking process quite long so recently I started to buy it canned. I’ve eaten hummus in many places and in different countries and, even though the recipe is so simple, it haven’t always found it good. My favorite hummus in Bucharest is from Mezze (only online delivery). In Vienna, Berlin & Zürich, I like to go to Neni.
Making hummus at home is always a good idea, since it’s so easy to prepare, ideal for a quick dinner or as an appetizer for guests. You need a relatively good food processor or blender to make it as creamy as you find it in the restaurants, but I promise it will end up very good regardless of your appliance. Last weekend was the first time I added beetroot (my new obsession) to my usual hummus recipe and it turned out so beautiful that I then spent hours photographing it. ♡
240 – 250 g cooked chickpeas (canned)
3 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 garlic cloves
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsb chilli flakes (optional)
1/2 cooked beetroot (or an entire beetroot if you want a more intense taste)
1 tbsp sesame (or olive) oil
Add all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and blend, in steps, for about 2 minutes. If the result is too thick for your taste, gradually add 1 tbsp of the liquid from the chickpeas can. If the mix gets stuck, use a spoon to stir it a bit and blend again. The beetroot hummus should be creamy and smooth.
Enjoy with crackers, bread or add to salads. Serve directly or store in the fridge in an airtight casserole for 3-4 days. Hummus is now delicious and pretty 🙂
Source: International Institute of Naturopathy, Integrative Nutrition and Health Consultant Program