Thursday, May 15, 2008

Addicted? Yes!

So, my new favorite snack, meal, any occasion food . . . HUMMUS! Yes, I could eat it 24/7, much to my husband's chagrin. My mom introduced me to Trader Joe's Creamy Meditteraenian Hummus. It could almost convince someone who doesn't like hummus that it is a decent thing to eat.

There are numerous health benefits to hummus as well. It is very low in fat, and high in protein. You can serve it with raw veggie sticks, pita bread, or (my favorite) rice crisps. (Really andything that can scoop it up!) Hummus is a good alternative to mayonnaise on a sandwich. And, one funny thing I read, apparently the chickpeas used to make hummus are an "early ancestor" of Prozac. So eat up, and be happy!

Basic Hummus Recipe
5 medium garlic cloves
15 ounces canned garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup sesame paste (tahini)
1/8 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon + 1/4 tsp soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch ground coriander
pinch teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 cup cold water, if needed

Fit a food processor with the steel blade. Process the garlic cloves until finely minced, stopping the processor occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. Add the beans and pulse the machine a few times to chop them coarsely. Then, with the machine running, puree them while you slowly pour the sesame paste through the feed tube. Still with the motor running, pour the olive oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce through the feed tube, stopping the processor occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stop the processor, open the lid, and add the salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Process until thoroughly blended. If the puree seems too thick for dipping or spreading, pulse in the 1/8 to 1/4 cup cold water. Transfer the puree to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate to chill well before serving.

Coming later: Ideas for kicking up the flavor of your hummus. Once you've "tweaked" and perfected the basic recipe!

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