When I was young, the only thing I knew about garbanzo beans was that they were little round, cream colored beans that were served at a salad bar. I always skipped putting them on my salad because they didn’t look very appetizing. On their own, they’re probably not the tastiest thing, but they can take on the other flavors of whatever they are combined with. This centuries old recipe now seems to be the latest food craze. Hummus spread is made from mashed garbanzo beans. Who would have thought that this little round bean could make such a tasty spread for sandwiches or a terrific dip for fresh veggies or pita chips? Nowadays, hummus is sold as a ready made dip/spread in most grocery stores.
Hummus, pronounced [hoom-uhs], is a spread of Middle Eastern origin made with “Chick Peas” otherwise known as “Garbanzo Beans.” Typically, the other ingredients in hummus include olive oil, salt, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. As you will see, in my recipe, I add a small amount of sesame oil instead of using tahini, just to give it that slight sesame flavor.
I read an interesting article about many of the health benefits of Garbanzo beans. The garbanzo bean is: a great antioxidant, it can decrease cardiovascular risks, it can better regulate blood sugar levels and can help with satiety, meaning, it can help us feel fuller and therefore reduce our caloric intake. Sounds like a superfood!
All that being said, Hummus is quick and easy to make and is a great staple to keep in your fridge for when you get the munchies! I enjoy it with fresh veggies, on pita bread or chips or use it as a sandwich filling or as a spread instead of mayonnaise.
Next time you go to a party, offer to bring this creamy, yummy hummus and a platter of fresh, colorful red, green and yellow bell pepper slices, celery sticks and pita bread wedges or pita chips. You can have a healthy snack choice, even at a party!
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8-10 drops of sesame oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh parsley for garnish, optional
Drain beans, reserving the liquid. Add the beans to a food processor (I use my handy little Cuisinart Stick Hand Blender with Chopper Attachment) Add the sesame oil, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Process until very smooth, about two minutes.
The mixture should be moist and spreadable. If it seems too thick or too dry, add some of the reserved liquid to thin it to a spreadable consistency. At serving time, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. If you want, you can also chop a little fresh parsley to sprinkle on top.
(If you like your Hummus to be extra creamy, boil the canned beans in water for about 12- 15 minutes. Drain and cool before making the Hummus! You may need to add 1/4 cup water when processing.)