Hummus – it’s a party dip, healthy snack, sandwich spread, I’ve even considered trying it as an emulsifier for salad dressings instead of mustard (I’ll let you know how that turns out someday). It comes in a myriad of flavors and is so easy to make. Once I found a simple plain recipe and made it the first time in the wee food processor my mom had gotten for me Christmas a couple years ago, I’ve been hooked! It is so much tastier than store bought, has fewer ingredients like stabilizers, I can control the sodium (important for my blood pressure) and the quality of ingredients, and make combinations of flavors you have never seen in the store.
A basic recipe has just a few ingredients, all of which have already been staples in my kitchen or have now become staples in my kitchen: olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, water, a can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and tahini. I am sure one could use dried chickpeas and soak them and drain before using; I personally have not had good luck so far with dried chickpeas though (see my post about falafel). Tahini is a new kitchen staple for me that I use for hummus quite regularly but also dressings for salads and Buddha bowls; I haven’t had a container go bad on me in the fridge yet.
The fun comes with the flavors! Here are some of my favorites:
- Roasted garlic
- Lemon and za’atar
- Lemon and thyme
- Lemon and dill
- Roasted red pepper
- Avocado, cilantro and jalapeño
The options though are seemingly endless and I have many more to try! Occasionally I’ll make one batch of plain or lemony hummus and then split it and make two different flavors from one batch by scooping out half of the hummus and keeping it plain or folding fresh herbs into it, and then blending the other half with roasted garlic or jalapeño, etc. in order to accommodate people that might not like a really garlicky flavor or the spiciness of jalapeño, or if I just want a variety for my snacking pleasure during the week.
The other week I made a new flavor that I’ve been saving the recipe for the right occasion. I went to a house warming party and thought this buffalo sauce hummus with some celery and carrots would be a nice healthy addition but still have that spicy buffalo sauce taste reminiscent of buffalo chicken (or cauliflower) dip, and would also be suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. It came out nicely spicy and the heat doesn’t hit you right up front; I thought it was great with the veggies and would also be good for lunch as a spread on pita (or lettuce cup) with some leftover chicken and blue cheese crumbles.
Some tips and tricks for making this hummus:
- The recipe calls for removing the skins from the chickpeas; I’ve never done this but can see how it would make a creamier texture.
- Taste as you go! If you like it spicier, add more hot sauce (or less if you like it milder). I also used Hungarian hot paprika but you could substitute sweet or even smoked paprika for a different taste.
- Add water a tablespoon at a time until you get to the consistency you like.
Below is the recipe I used, along with my notes. Please share your experience with making hummus, would love to know what ended up being successful for you and what your favorite flavors are! For more ideas, check out my hummus board on Pinterest.
A spicy buffalo sauce inspired hummus
Credit: Noming Thru Life
1 can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
2 garlic cloves (recipe says to press them but I just rough chop or throw them in whole)
2 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (~1/4 lemon)
2 Tbsp cayenne pepper sauce (you can use any kind you prefer, the original recipe suggests Frank’s Red Hot, I used Crystal Hot Sauce)
2-4 Tbsp reserved garbanzo can liquid, or water (I used water and ~3 Tbsp of it)
½ tsp Hungarian paprika (I used Hungarian Hot)
Salt to taste (original recipe suggests ¼ tsp)
1. Drain garbanzo beans and rinse; you can save some of the can liquid for the end of the recipe.
2. Optional but this step will make a creamier hummus. Remove skins from the garbanzo beans by lightly pinching the bean and discarding the skin.
3. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Start with 2 Tbsp water (or the garbanzo can liquid) and add more as you go to adjust for a creamier or thinner consistency. The more water, the creamier and thinner it will be.
4. Taste and adjust hot sauce and salt to your liking and blend again if necessary.
5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.