My Tips for Incredible Homemade Hummous
Posted on 13 December 2019 by Leonie Satori
Rich in plant protein, good fats and flavour, hummous is considered an essential dish for those on a plant based diet. Although supermarket shelves are bulging with different brands and flavours of hummus, nothing beats the homemade stuff. In this article I share some of my tips for incredible homemade hummous.
Hummous, hummus or houmous is a traditional Middle Eastern dish made with mashed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. Traditionally it is served as an appetiser with pita bread, falafel or eggplant.
Chickpeas (or garbanzos), the main ingredient in hummous are rich in protein, essential for muscle growth and satiety. The high fibre component of chickpeas also make them ideal for those with blood sugar or cholesterol issues. The nutritional powerhouse of chickpeas doesn't just stop there. Chickpeas contain an abundance of natural calcium, iron, magnesium, folate and potassium, making them an ideal food to include in the diet regularly.
Over the years, I have made countless batches of hummous in my home kitchen, some have been incredible, while others have been a little ho-hum. With my hummous making experience I have learned a few tips and tricks about homemade hummous and would like to share them with you here:
Buy your chickpeas in a can**. I have found that inadequate soaking and incomplete cooking of legumes can make the texture of your hummous dry and unpalatable and contribute to digestive discomfort. So, until you have mastered soaking and preparing dried legumes, I suggest finding a brand of chickpeas that is reliably well cooked and delicious.
For a smooth, creamy textured homemade hummous, mix your chickpeas 50:50 with white beans - cannellini or lima beans work the best here. As plant based proteins are known to be 'incomplete proteins', this combination of two types of legumes, nutritionally, is a great way to ensure a broader range of amino acids are included in your meal.
Don't forget the tahini! Naturally rich in methionine, tahini or tahina paste is made from ground sesame seeds. Methionine is an amino acid that helps with digestion of fats and is a precursor for other amino acids required for metabolism. Tahini also ensures your homemade hummous has a lovely creamy texture.
Always, always, always include fresh lemon juice. This is the key ingredient to enhance the flavour of your hummous, without it hummous is just not hummous. From a nutritional perspective, this sour acidity of natural lemon juice aids in the production of digestive secretions and helps with emulsifying fats in the digestive tract.
Add herbs and spices. Traditional hummous is made with powdered cumin, personally I like to use a combination of fresh and dried herbs and spices to tweak the flavour of my hummous recipe. In addition to cumin powder, I like using fresh parsley or thyme, dried sumac, paprika, caraway seeds and my old favourite cayenne.
Adding herbs and spices not only adds more personality to your hummous, but also aids digestion. In Ayurveda, it is considered that six tastes are required to maintain proper nutrition, avoid cravings and to help digestion of foods. One of the best ways to include a variety of tastes in food is by adding herbs and spices to meals.
Abundance is the key to a good hummous. Once you have the base ingredients, use generous amounts of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, herbs and spices. This will ensure flavour, texture and deliciousness of your hummous. Your taste buds and friends will love you for it.
Blend. Blend. Blend. Have a good blender, blend well, blend thoroughly. Blend some more, taste, add more oil or spices or salt or water and blend again.
Make it yourself and share it with your friends. Food always tastes better when it is homemade and shared with others.
My Homemade Hummous Recipe
As with all of my regular recipes, I tend not to use measured amounts of ingredients, which makes it hard to estimate quantities when sharing recipes. With this recipe, I have learned to get a 'feel' for the mixture, I blend and taste several times so that I can make small adjustments to the recipe as I go. I suggest using this recipe as a rough guide for you to get started on your own style of homemade hummous.
I encourage you to have fun and experiment with your own recipe. Once you have a good feel for making your own hummous, look at including other ingredients such as leftover cooked quinoa, pumpkin or beetroot. Hummous is a delicious staple food in my home. I like to have with fresh veggie 'sticks', spread onto an open sandwich, dolloped onto salads or stirred through steamed vegetables. Yum. The rest is up to your creativity and imagination.
** Hone your legume soaking and cooking skills with cooked dishes first (such as curries). Once you have mastered this skill in cooked dishes, then make the move to including your own soaked and cooked chickpeas into your homemade hummous.
About the Author
Leonie is a Naturopath & Medical Herbalist with a passion for good food, healthy living and of course, herbal medicine. When she is not consulting in her Naturopathic clinic in Lismore or blogging about nutrition, Ayurvedic Medicine or natural health, she is studying yoga, growing her own herbs and vegetables or quietly walking in the natural bush land in Northern Rivers NSW.
Contact our health centre in Lismore to book an appointment with Leonie in our naturopathic clinic.