Sunday, October 24, 2010

Clean Eating: Home-made Hummus

Trying to avoid dairy for a while, I have been looking for a new spread on bread. Hummus is a likely choice. Not only is it tasty, natural and filling it also can be mixed with many flavors (at least according to the grocery aisle :-)). I decided to make my own batch, and go as natural snd gently prepared as possible: dried chickpeas, soaked over night, gently cooked with a garlic clove and fresh bay leaf,  mixed with with fresh meyer lemon juice, meyer lemon rind, fresh ground black pepper, tahini and extra-virgin olive oil. Throughout the preparation process I avoided salt; it really only needs very little in the finished product. Because it is made of dried chickpeas it has a very mild, sweet, almost nutty flavor. Love it!

Soaking Chickpeas:
1/2 cup dried organic chickpea/garbanzo beans
1 quart/ltr water (use plenty of water, 3-4 times more than the chickpeas, they will soak it all up!)

Soak over night. The chickpeas will absorb most of the water, and quadruple in size.

Cooking Chickpeas:
Soaked chickpeas
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
1 bay leaf (dry or fresh)

In a medium sized sauce pan, place the soaked chickpeas, and cover with water with about 1 inch water above the chickpeas. Add the bay leaf and garlic clove to the water. Bring to a boil, and turn down heat to a very low simmer, and simmer chickpeas for ca. 40min.  Discard the bay leaf, preserve the cooked garlic and the cooking liquid. 

Alternatively: place the chickpeas in a steamer inset, and the water, bayleaf and garlic cloves in the bottom of the pot, and steam the chickpeas for 45min. They will still absorb some of the bayleaf and garlic aroma, but loose less vitamins.

For hummus:
cooked chickpeas (and preserved cooking liquid!)
cooked garlic cloves
juice of 1 Meyer lemon (or regular lemon)
zest of 1 Meyer lemon (or regular lemon)
1 TB tahini (sesame nut butter)
1-2 fresh garlic cloves, peeled, quartered
3-4 TB extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste

Place all ingredients (excluding the salt) in a blender or food processor (I used a Vitamix and got a very smooth texture), and add a few ladles of the cooking liquid. You might need up to 5-6 ladles to get the right thickness and texture. Blend until smooth. Pour into a storage container, and add salt to taste.

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