>> Sunday, March 21, 2010
For those who know me, know that I love to snack often and at all times during the day, so I’m always looking for things that are delicious, healthy and easy, enter hummus! It’s usually my go to snack of choice because really, it’s Mediterranean (which I can’t stop talking about), it’s super nutritious and it’s really easy to make.
Hummus is made from chickpeas, which are part of the legume family. In recent years, dieticians and nutritionists alike have begun to encourage people to eat more “Mediterranean” thereby increasing their intake of legumes (aka beans) because they’re a great source of fibre and protein. This is also why it’s a main staple food for vegetarians aside from tofu (which I also love and will have to blog about soon). In 1 cup of chickpeas, you get ~12g of protein and ~7g of fibre which is a whopping 30% of your recommended daily fibre intake!
Since most hummus is made from tahini, which is ground up sesame paste, it tends to be a little heavier and because I can’t stop eating hummus after just 2 tablespoons, I had to go in search of a lighter version. Then I came across the Canadian Living lightened up hummus recipe, instead of tahini, it uses yogurt (another main Mediterranean favourite) and sesame oil, needless to say I had to try it. Oh try it I did, I’ve been making hummus using this recipe since and I’ve paired it with everything from whole wheat pita bread to cucumbers and it’s just as delicious plus I don’t have to have to stop after 2 tablespoons (who wants to keep track anyways?)!
Quick Tidbit: Eating hummus with whole wheat pita bread creates a perfectly balanced meal. Hummus is rich in protein, when ingested with whole grains, which are full of healthy carbs causes our bodies to uptake the nutrients of both easier. Think along the lines of taking calcium and vitamin D. So don’t be afraid to eat a little (whole wheat) carbs with that hummus!
¾ cup fat-free plain yogurt (I like using greek yogurt but plain works just fine)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp salt
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cloves garlic, minced (I usually up this because I like my hummus really garlicky)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch paprika
(Feel free to play around with this recipe. You can adjust the flavours by adding in different ingredients, Eg. roasted red peppers)
Line a sieve with some cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Add the yogurt and let it drain until reduced by half (or until you don’t mind the consistency, the original recipe calls for 2 hours in the fridge, but I found that it really depends on the yogurt you use, plus who wants to wait for 2 hours, so I usually give it until I’m done getting all my other ingredients together).
In a food processor, add in yogurt, chickpeas, lemon juice, sesame oil, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic, pulse until smooth. Scrape in to bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle paprika on top.
Serve with pita or other veggies as a dip!