Hummus

Hummus is a delicious spread for a fresh slice of homemade bread. It may also be a great dip to eat with raw vegetables cut in stripes. Chickpeas contain a lot of high quality protein (all essential amino acids). They are high in dietary fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese. Sesame seeds tahini is made of are an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium and copper. However, tahini should be made of unhulled sesame seeds. The hulling process removes most of the valuable nutrients (especially high calcium and iron content) from them. Tahini is high in fat, most of it being Omega 6 fatty acids.

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Ingredients:

4 cups dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans),

1.5 cup unhulled tahini,

1 small onion,

6 cloves garlic,

½ lime or lemon,

sea salt,

hot chili pepper (optional),

fresh parsley leaves,

olive oil (optional).

Soak chickpeas overnight or for about eight hours and cook them with a little bit of sea salt. Drain them and leave to cool off to avoid hot food getting in contact with the plastic bowl of the food processor. Place them in the food processor and add tahini, garlic, onion, lemon juice and hot pepper, if you choose to use it. Add water to about 1/2 of the level of the chickpeas and process using the chop function until smooth. If the concoction is still chunky after 30 seconds of chopping, add a tiny little bit more water. Be careful, once you pour too much water into it and process it, there is not much you can do except adding more chickpeas. Place the hummus in a glass or porcelain bowl, refrigerate for about 30 minutes and serve sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley leaves and (optionally) olive oil.

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Hummus can be kept refrigerated up to 5-6 days. It can be frozen and defrosted without losing its flavor or texture. I make large amounts of it, put it in smaller glass containers and freeze, leaving only one container for current consumption. This way I wash the food processor once not two or three times, do not let the food go bad, thus avoid waste, and do not get bored of eating the same spread all the time. I also cook more chickpeas when cooking them for hummus and freeze some whole ones in a two or four cups container for future dishes.

If you exaggerate with water and the consistency is too soft and loose, do not throw it away. You may turn it into a soup by adding even more water, heating it up and adding a finely chopped tomato to taste.

I do not recommend using canned chickpeas. This way a toxic metal – aluminum – gets into your body and may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Also, the can lining is a xenoestrogen.

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Time saving tips:

1. You may soak the chickpeas overnight, cook them in the morning while getting ready for work and leave to cool off. Make hummus when you come back.

2. You may make it on weekend: soak chickpeas overnight, cook, let cool off and process between your usual activities.