You can't beat a classic hummus. I've been making truckloads lately, partly because it's just so delicious, but also because it's so ridiculously good for you! Originating from the Middle East, hummus is made by blending chickpeas, tahini, lemonjuice, oliveoil, garlic and salt into a smooth (or chunky - depends how you like it) paste. When prepared traditionally it's super nutrient-dense and offers a myriad of health benefits - it's loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, belly-loving fibre, satiating protein and healthy fats, making it a wonderful kitchen condiment deserving of a regular spot on the weekly menu. It's fantastic served with fresh veggie sticks, as a spread in a sandwich, as a big dollop on top of a salad, spread over a pizza base or even just as your classic chip-and-dip.
The base of hummus is chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), which are a nutty-tasting legume that's high in complex carbohydrates, fiber and plant-based protein. These nutrients are a killer trio in supporting weight management, as when eaten they'll contribute to slower digestion, a sustained release of energy and lessened hunger cravings. They're also a good source of plant-based protein, making hummus an excellent source of protein for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. The tahini (a paste made of sesame seeds) is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, as well as being a rich source of micronutrients calcium, iron and magnesium. Throw in the vitamin-c rich lemon juice, the extra virgin olive oil and its nourishing fats, and the raw garlic's potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and you've got an incredibly nutrient-rich dip.
This speedy recipe uses canned chickpeas, so it'll only take you a matter of minutes to whip up a batch of fresh hummus. In saying that, feel free to cook your own. For time and convenience purposes I usually just opt for the canned varieties, but there's something quite lovely about making hummus entirely from scratch.
2 tins of chickpeas
5-6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp of tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Extra: paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt to taste
1. Open your tins of chickpeas, pour chickpeas into a sieve, drain liquid, and rinse well with water.
2. Add chickpeas and garlic to a food processor and process for a few minutes, stopping to scrap down the sides. It will look quite thick and chunky.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the extra spices and salt) and blend until smooth. Add a few tablespoon of water if you'd like a smoother consistency.
4. Taste test and season with extra salt or spices to your liking.
5. Transfer hummus into a bowl. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle a little olive oil on top. Serve with a platter of colourful fresh veggies.
Store the hummus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.