Hummus, and all about chickpeas

Whether you know them as Chick Peas or Garbanzo Beans, there’s no mistaking the value of this nutritional powerhouse. As if being full of protein and fibre weren’t enough – they also have some iron. Ladies and vegetarians – are you reading this… iron usually comes from animal sources. Bonus.

These little gems are so versatile, they should be a staple in your cupboard, whether canned or dried. Used in salads, soups, veggie chili, even pasta dishes – the uses are limitless. I haven’t even mentioned the exceptional $ value… not only are they good for your waistline, your wallet will thank you as well.

Try them for your next meatless Monday… mashed and used as a base for a veggie burger. Easy, good for you and de-lish! Pretty much all beans work in the veggie burger… garbanzo, black, pinto, red kidney…. using a mixture gives great taste and texture.

Most know chick peas as the main ingredient in that fave of dips – hummus. What was once foreign, is now a staple in all our grocery stores. I’ve been making it for years, using a base recipe and making variations. Recently I’ve tried adding yummy things like roasted sweet potato – what a total boost in taste and added nutrition! I also usually roast the garlic, for a more mellow taste. Some do prefer the pungent kick of raw garlic, which I don’t mind, as long as it’s not so strong it’s oozing out of my pores the next day…. You know what I mean. You’ve probably sat next to this person on public transit…. I know I HAVE!!

I’ve come across a recipe for hummus that I’ve totally fallen for and I’ve included below. It’s from a fab cookbook called Pretty Delicious, by Candice Kumai. I’ve included a link to her website below. Check it out, especially if you’re into healthy eating and feeling good!

Candice Kumai’s TDF Hummus 

The quantity is listed to serve 12 – which would be great if you’re making it for a crowd. If you don’t need this much, simply halve the recipe. But then again… it will also keep, covered in the fridge for several days. If you don’t like the taste of cumin, leave it out – ditto for the cayenne. But do not leave out the soy sauce as it gives an amazing depth of flavour. The yogurt smooths out the dip. Yum.

2 cans chick peas (15 ounces each)
1/3 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
*4 roasted garlic cloves or 2 if using raw
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne (only if you want the heat)
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt (I use Kosher)

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. (If you prefer having some texture, do not blitz as long)
Transfer to a medium bowl and surround with a selection of raw veggie dippers: cucumber, zucchini, grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, etc

 *To roast garlic; slice approx the top 1/4 from a head of garlic. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper then wrap in foil and roast at 350 for approx. 30 min. Let it cool before you ‘squeeze’ out the mellowed roasted cloves.

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