Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Hummus is one of those foods you can't escape in the foodie blogosphere. Typing "hummus" into the blog search function of Google yields 373,518 results, which is surprising for a food commonly found in the specialty section of grocery stores. Comparisons: "tzatziki" yields 81,563 results, "edamame" 166,755, and "pancetta" only 179,264 despite Giada De Laurentiis' use of it in half the dishes on her television shows.
So you get the sense it's pretty popular, and it's a good thing it is. Hummus is a wonderfully healthy spread, providing fiber, vitamin C, protein. A couple tablespoons of store-bought hummus amount to only 50 calories, making it perfect for low-cal sandwich spreads and dips. I went through streaks in college when I would eat nothing but hummus on bagels, hummus with All-Bran crackers, and hummus on turkey subs from the student union. Of course, it isn't healthy enough to justify that degree of devotion, but it is a good addition to your everyday diet.
Unfortunately, hummus is pretty expensive. A tiny 7 oz. container of Athenos brand from my grocery store runs $3.50, for only 7 servings. As usual, making my own is a much better option.
-two cans garbanzo beans, drained
-one tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-one teaspoon sesame oil
-garlic powder, cumin, black pepper to taste
I put all of the ingredients into my VitaMix, plus about 2/3 the liquid from one of the cans and process at low-to-medium speeds until the mixture is smooth and spreadable. The recipe fills a 12 oz. tub for only $2, even using brand-name garbanzo beans (I had to, since my back-water Kroger didn't even have dry beans and only carried Bush's).
If the vinegar is too strong for your tastes, use the more traditional lemon juice. The sesame oil can also be replaced by tahini. Other recipes call for olive oil, which results in a creamier texture and longer preservation. If you want, use about a 1/4 cup oil per cup of garbonzo beans, but I use the can liquid instead to keep the fat to a minimum. That way I can eat more of it :D
Posted by Tamara Marnell at 9/22/2009