I love hummus, not only its creamy texture and delicious taste, but also how versatile and nutritious it is. Really, you can add any herbs, spices or veggies and it’s very unlikely it would go wrong. I used to buy hummus from the supermarket, but often they are not so tasty. When you make your own hummus you can add so much goodness and flavour to it. I remember I always had to add some extra spices like smoked paprika or olive oil and herbs, to the one’s I bought from the supermarkets. Now that I make my own hummus I add as many herbs and as much flavour as I want to.
I make a batch of hummus almost every weekend, so I am stocked for pretty much the rest of the week ahead. My little one loves hummus! I often serve it for his lunch or as a snack with some veggies or rice crackers. This way I also feel confident that he is getting his protein intake. I actually enjoy watching him eat hummus because he likes it so much, that he goes straight to it and eats it with his hands 🙂
Hummus is made of chickpeas or garbanzo beans and it’s a superfood! Chickpeas are a good source of protein and fibre. They are also rich in iron, calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphate and manganese. However, this superfood (and all the beans) are often relegated for a few reasons. First, the time it takes to cook and second, ‘digestive issues’ (shhh… winds).
The truth is that chickpeas, like all legumes are literally wonder food! Many studies out there highlight the power of beans to lower cholesterol, combat heart disease, stabilize blood sugar, reduce obesity and even lessen the risk of cancer. On the practical side, they are inexpensive and if you learn a few tricks on how to cook them, you can easily enjoy them on a regular basis and significantly reduce the ‘digestive issues’.
It is true that beans take a while to cook, but if you soak them beforehand you can significantly reduce the amount of time required to cook them. In my kitchen, you will often find a bowl of soaking beans as I cook beans on a regular basis. However, I do not always have the time to cook them, so I also have canned beans in my cupboard. Canned beans are a great alternative and will save you time. Having said this, there is an important aspect to bear in mind when buying canned beans. Many canned beans brands are very high in sodium. So, I would say buy the ones that are low sodium and always drain and rinse them with cool water before consuming. That way, you will reduce about 40% of the salt. Also, I advise you to buy organic.
If you are cooking your chickpeas from scratch, I would say soak them the night before cooking. Change the soaking water at least 3-4 times. Doing this makes beans easier to digest. When I cook the beans, I only add one big bay leaf or two small leaves and half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, but this is totally optional.
I add turmeric for this recipe, which is a spice that I very often use in my dishes, plus organic red pepper, smoked paprika and extra virgin olive oil. The preparation process, once you have the chickpeas cooked, is very easy and quick and you can make a good amount and enjoy it throughout the week in your meals or snacks.
450g cooked chickpeas
1 medium red bell pepper
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
A pinch of Himalayan salt
A dash of lime juice
- Blacken the bell pepper over a gas hob, turning regularly with tongs until charred. (If you do not have a gas hob, you can bake the bell pepper in the oven for 20-25 mins).
- Discard the skin (make sure you remove all the blackened skin) and chop julienne.
- In a blender or food processor, place the chickpeas, red pepper, paprika, turmeric, garlic powder, salt, olive oil and a dash of lime juice.
- Blend until you reach a creamy puree consistency.