Hummus, here in the US, is often spelled as shown, but I suspect this is a phonetic rendering and in most areas of the world is spelled just like Elaine over at Foodbod does, Homous. See, Elaine and I got to talking about Hummus/Homous after Ginger from Ginger & Bread and I did dual posts about her Viennese Schnitzel compared to my Iowa Pork Tenderloin Sandwich.
These posts, couched in the form of a “challenge” are more of a way to challenge ourselves to share and learn. It’s really just a way to learn about food, how it’s different and/or the same in different areas, and how it’s served. If there’s ever anybody who could show me more about Hummus, other than Elaine at Foodbod, I don’t know who it could be!
But first, what I do know: There are many variations of Hummus, although the most classically known is Hummas bi Tahini. There’s a reason, I think, beyond the sheer deliciousness of this creamy dip or spread for its popularity. When chickpeas, which are a “complete protein” source for adults, are combined with certain nuts, grains or seeds, like Tahini, the human body can build proteins more efficiently. You’ll see classic protein combinations in ancient cooking throughout the world, and hummus is no exception.
Probably as ancient as time itself, Hummus is so easy and inexpensive to make at home, and so much better than store-bought, I’m almost embarrassed for the people I see putting it in their cart at the store. If you ever have a friend who comes home with a can of beans, a lemon, a head of garlic and a jar of tahini and tells you that some crazy lady in the store made them put their hummus back, you’ll know I’ve finally snapped! 🙂
Elaine has mentioned, too, that homemade is better and less expensive, and we both agree that creamier hummus is generally made from canned chickpeas. We agree also, to rinse, rinse and rinse those canned chickpeas, and don’t add any extra salt. They’ve quite a bit of sodium, already. Other than that, I add olive oil, and Elaine doesn’t. I’ll have to try her recipe – when I’m done with all the hummus I made today! 🙂 See, I made Hummus in three different variations. With Canned Chickpeas, with Canned Chickpeas with the skins removed and with Dried Chickpeas.
I also have to thank Elaine for showing us how to make Holy Grail of Hummus in her NutriBullet. I don’t have the budget for one of the “power” blenders but I love my NutriBullet. I used to make my Hummus in a food processor, but blending makes a creamier hummus! I never would have thought of this, myself, so thanks, Elaine!
The first “recipe” I ever saw for Hummus bi Tahini recommended peeling the chickpeas for the creamiest hummus. If you want super creamy hummus, you can do so, but don’t squeeze the little chickpeas out of their skins like you might have seen it done. Put them in a strainer in a large bowl of water and rub them between your fingers. The peels will loosen and when the water is swished, will float to the top and may be skimmed off. Easy peasy!
I don’t do this, because I’m a big fan of whole foods and nutrients and fiber that come with them. I tried it today, just for comparison’s sake, and found that the tiny bit of peels removed greatly reduced the amount of hummus made! By an amazing amount compared to the small volume of “skins.” It hummus made with the peeled chickpeas was creamier, though.
Elaine shows a zillion amount of ways to use hummus, and I’m very grateful to her! I hate to waste food and I’ll be eating all the hummus I made for days. Luckily, hummus lasts a long time in the fridge and can even be frozen for a very short amount of time, say a month or two.
I’ve been a bit pedestrian in my use of hummus and normally use mine as a dip, add it to wraps and sometimes I’ll mix it with red wine vinegar, add an herb or two (Oregano, Tarragon, one of my Seasonings, like Italian or Greek or some Basil) and use it for a salad dressing. More recently, I’ve used it in Chicken, Egg or Tuna Salads instead of Mayonnaise and on occasion added a dollop or two to my morning Green Smoothie.
Hummus is always perfect candidate for a bit of a makeover – it an take on so many flavors so well. Sprinkle it with herbs, spices, and/or your favorite spice blends. Add roasted garlic, roasted peppers, change it up with lime instead of lemon. Skip the tahini (which I sometimes do because it’s expensive) and add nuts, seeds or another nut butter. Really, there’s no reason to waste a drop of it!
Hummus bi Tahini
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas or 1 15 – 16 ounce can, rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of one lemon (add some finely zested peel for more lemon flavor)
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 to 4 tablespoons water, if needed
- salt and pepper if desired, hold off to the end and taste
- herbs, spices or blends, as desired
Add chickpeas, oil, lemon, and garlic to blender or food processor. Whir to break down. Add Tahini and continue to process until desired consistency. If it doesn’t seem to be coming together, add water, start with two tablespoons, then a tablespoon at a time, until it is smooth, creamy, light and airy.
If desired, add salt and pepper or other spices of your choice to taste, or sprinkle your favorite spice or herb blend over the top.
Vegetarian Hummus Wraps
Using a piece of flatbread, tortilla or wrap, spread lightly with about two to three tablespoons of hummus, stopping about an inch from the ends. Sprinkle with seasonings if desired.
Layer on finely sliced or shredded vegetables of your choice. Avocado is particularly nice because it “mushes” as you roll it and will help hold everything together. Leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale are generally laid down first, followed by the wetter vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers. Carrots, cabbage, radishes, onions, mushrooms, jicama are all very good, but there’s no limit to what you can add. Add them so that any long ones will be facing in the same direction and it will be easier to roll your wrap.
If desired, capers, raisins, dried fruit, olives, chutneys or other items that will give punctuations of flavor are usually welcome! A few sprinkles of vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or lime can add a bit more flavor, but don’t overdo it; you don’t want a wet wrap. When you’ve built your wrap to your desired specifications, add a few small dollops of hummus over the top of the vegetables, in a line. Keep that line parallel to the side you’ll be picking up to roll. Don’t overfill, though!
Roll by tucking in the ends as you fold the wrap over. After the top portion is rolled, pressing gently, pull it towards you to tighten everything and then continue rolling. Slice through the center on a diagonal and serve.
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
Chickpeas: These little power packed wonders are always inexpensive, but there are ways to save money, mainly buying dried chickpeas or buying canned on sale with coupons. Dried chickpeas in my area run around $1.49 a pound, and a pound will make about 5 1/4 cups of chickpeas, and a pound makes about 3 cans worth of chickpeas. A 15 ounce can of dried chickpeas has to be 50 cents or under to beat the equivalent amount of chickpeas made from dried chickpeas. So canned chickpeas are about 3 x the amount of dried.
That might sound like a lot but chickpeas, dried or canned are usually so inexpensive, the savings can be minimal – depending on how much you use. Even small amounts are going to add up.
Dried beans are usually on “unadvertised” sales, especially after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Easter. Canned chickpeas tend to go on sale in the fall and sporadically through the year. Here is some pricing I found this week, along with the equivalent pricing to compare to a pound of dried:
- Roundy’s, 15 oz can, $1.19, 1 3/4 cup, $.34 per 1/2 cup serving, $5.10 is the equivalent pricing of a dried pound.
- Bush’s, 16 oz can, coupons are often available, $1.19, 1 3/4 cup, $.34 per 1/2 cup serving, $5.10 is the equivalent pricing of a dried pound.
- S & W, 15.5 oz can, coupons often available, $1.29, 1 3/4 cup, $.37 per 1/2 cup serving, $5.53 is the equivalent pricing of a dried pound.
- La Perferida, 15 oz can, $1.39, 1 3/4 cup, $.40 per serving, $5.96 is the equivalent pricing of a dried pound.
- La Perferida, 1 lb 13 oz can, $2.29, 3 1/4 cup, $.36 per serving, $5.28 is the equivalent pricing of a dried pound.
- Essential Everyday, 1 lb bag dried, $1.49, 7 1/2 cups cooked, $.10 per serving, $1.49 is the equivalent of pricing per dried pound.
- La Perferida, 1 lb bag dried, $1.89, 7 1/2 cups cooked, 13 cents per serving, $1.89 is the equivalent pricing per dried pound.
While the numbers above look dramatic, if you were to eat a can’s worth of chickpeas once a week, you’d be paying about 67 dollars a year if you bought your chickpeas at $1.29 a can, and $18 dollars if you bought them at the $1.49 a bag price. Canned or dried, chickpeas are a great food value!
I used both dried, canned and canned without the skins, and here’s the cost of my Hummus. From a can, $2.75, two cups. From a can with no skins, $2.75 for a cup and a half, and from dried, $1.92 for two cups. I saw a little container that held about a cup at the store for $3.49.
- Tahini: Always a bit pricey, the dirty little secret? Hummus can be made without tahini. I do like to serve it with grains or nuts/seeds if I leave it out! Look for Tahini in any Greek, Turkish, Mediterranean market or the “ethnic” sections of the grocery store. Look for it, too, in any sale bins or carts. Specialty items are often found there for a great price. My jar ran around $7.00 bucks, but since such a small amount is used, it doesn’t break the bank. Don’t let an open jar languish too long, keep it in the fridge and be prepared to spend a bit of time stirring it back together. I store the jars upside down. The portion used for the hummus, probably about a dollar.
- Lemon: In season in the winter months here – lemons are often on sale throughout the year 3 to 4 to a dollar. The rind holds as much or more flavor than the juice, so I often grate it off before using and store in a Ziploc in my freezer – the little bit dries up but still holds more flavor than the store bought. If I’m in a pinch and don’t have a lemon, I’ll use it instead. Microwave your lemon for a bit if it’s hard and/or roll it on the counter before you juice it and it will break down easier. If you just need a small amount, pierce your lemon with a fork and squeeze out, then remember to use it – later. I bag it and put it in the door of the fridge. Cost 30 cents.
- Olive Oil: I have a little strategy for buying olive oil – using coupons and sales to lower the price, so click on the link. I also look for new brands and stock up – heavy competition means that when a new brand comes to the store, it is often at a fantastic price for a few weeks, then settles in at around the same price as the others. I think it’s important to use olive oil as opposed to many others – the health benefits outweigh a bit more extra cost, and it can be had at a very reasonable price. I also like the fact that Olive oil contains no hidden trans fats like Canola or Vegetable oil. Cost for this recipe: 24 cents.
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