Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Hummus – Eco friendly style and three ways!

Cleaning out my cupboards today I vowed never to buy hummus again unless in an emergency. You know, last minute party invitation, or a late lunch on the run. We had so many plastic hummus containers I could have re-built the leaning tower of Pisa in my own kitchen! Since the hummus I buy from my local health food shop is my original recipe from when I worked there, I decided I really should be making my own. I love to play around with
variations just to keep this vegetarian food staple interesting to me after so many years.

It is great served with fresh crudités like carrot batons, celery sticks, beetroot straws and any other vegetable you like raw. Cracker of every description can be used – a variety of different textured ones is fun on a platter. Elegant grissini sticks in a tall glass, fresh French baguette and any sour dough or Turkish bread warmed or char-grilled with a drizzle of olive oil. Yum!

Here are three of my favorite hummus recipes: Chickpea Hummus, Almond Hummus and Cashew Hummus

Chickpea Hummus

*Once chickpeas are cooked and cooled this recipe only takes 15 minutes.
2 cups cooked chick peas (soak overnight aprox 1 full cup)
½ cup tahini
1/3 cup Olive oil
½ cup lemon juice (aprox 1-2 medium lemons)
1 sm garlic clove *optional
1 tsp good salt (Celtic or Himalayan are my favorites)
1 heaped tbs coriander powder
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ cup filtered water
1 strip kombu *for cooking the chickpeas in, to tenderize them and make them more digestible.

Soak chickpeas over night. It’s not as painful as your mind might have you think – and just remember you get good hummus at the end of this effort!

Rinse chickpeas and place on the stove with plenty of water. Boil for 40-60 mins (depends on the age of the chickpeas). Strain when chickpeas are very soft (to ensure smooth and creamy hummus texture) and place under running water until cool. If you place a large bowl under the sieve you can catch the water and at the same time cool the chickpeas and not waste too much precious aqua.

Once chickpeas have been cooled, place them in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy.  

Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch a paprika and a scattering of white sesame seeds.

Almond Hummus

1 cup soaked almonds (Soak for 1-2 days, the almonds can be soaked over night but have a creamier texture if soaked over two nights).
¼ cup + 1 tbs tahini
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup + 1 tbs lemon juice (aprox 2 lemons)
1 sm clove garlic*optional
1 tsp good salt
3-4 sprigs parsley, roughly chopped
Parsley & cracked pepper to garnish

No cooking is involved which makes almond hummus such a easy alternative to chickpea hummus. Also it is far more digestible for most people’s tummies.
Note 1: Once soaked, it’s important to rinse almonds as they contain an enzyme-inhibiting substance in their brown coating. Soaking almonds overnight removes these toxic enzyme inhibitors so that the enzymes secreted during digestion can do their job. Also the gluten breaks down, so digestion becomes much easier. Phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of vital minerals, is also reduced.
Note 2: When soaking the almonds I find they are best soaked out of the fridge for the first few hours at least or longer. Sometimes in the summer here in Australia if left over night they can begin to ferment. So place them in the fridge overnight after a few hours of soaking them on the kitchen bench.
Note 3: Some people peel each almond to achieve a pure white almond hummus but I couldn’t really be bothered doing this and don’t mind the look of the hummus with the skins on.
Firstly, blend the soaked almonds in a food processor until the skins and almonds have broken down into a coarse paste. See picture.

Then as with chickpea hummus add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Due to the variation of the age of the almonds (and how long you chose to soaked them) you make need to add a little more liquid to obtain a creamy texture. I usually taste it to see if it needs a little more tangy lemon or if all the flavours are quite present sometimes all it needs is a little splash of filtered water.

Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a couple of sprigs of parsley and some cracked pepper.

Raw Cashew Hummus

1 cup soaked cashews (15-30 mins)
¼ cup tahini
1/4 cup water
¼ cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 sm clove of garlic*optional
1 tsp good salt
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp coriander powder

Cashews require very little soaking to obtain a creamy hummus texture.

Firstly rinse the cashews and process them on their own, scrape down the sides when  necassary. Blend until they have the texture of a coarse paste - See photo.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, some black sesame seeds and a sprig of rosemary.


  1. Very nice Anthea...Caspar

  2. Hi Anthea and Casper! I am having friends over for breakfast tomorrow and I just made the cashew hummus! Super easy and sooooo yummy! I'm sure they will be impressed! Hope you are both well. Jen (from Sangsurya) :)