Hummus!

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photo 8At my house, we love hummus and can happily plow through massive amounts of it. Because of that, I make it frequently and in large batches.  Making hummus at home is EASY EASY EASY. It’s also a superb value, as store bought hummus and restaurant hummus are pricey. Homemade is also far tastier than store bought and easy to adapt to your taste preference.

Disclaimer: I am a wing-it cook. What that means is that I often start a cooking project with an idea of the ingredients I will use but no recipe or precise measurements. Then I cook, taste, tweak, taste again, tweak again, and so on until I’m either happy with the outcome or stuck with something irreparable. In the savory department, I generally end up happy. (Baking sweets is less forgiving, requires precision, and I avoid it like the plague.) When you are a wing-it cook, no two batches are the same. So now it is with a pain-staking adjustment to my natural cooking style that I aim to quantify and document my recipe-less recipes so that you can duplicate them in your kitchen. My method: try to act natural! Do what I would normally do but pour everything into a measuring vessel and take notes before it goes into the actual dish. Here we go!

The Big Batch of Hummus

You will need a large food processor.

Ingredients:

garbanzo beans—  4 cups dry or 10 cups cooked   hummus ingredients
garlic— 6 large whole cloves
lemons— juice of 5 large lemons
tahini— 1 cup
olive oil— 3/4 cups
salt— 2 tsp.
optional: sumac— 1 tsp
Also optional: I like to top dress the finished product with a few kalamata olives, a pinch of sumac, and an additional splash of olive oil.

Instructions:

1. Garbanzo beans— If you have dry garbanzo beans, cook them until they are soft and easy to smash between your fingers. If you have canned beans, you are ready to go.

I start with 4 cups dry and soak them overnight in a large bowl of water. The next day I drain them and cook them in a pressure cooker in new water, cooking them at pressure for 40 minutes. Then I drain them and let them cool. It ends up being about 10 cups once cooked. photo 10

2. Put the cooked cooled beans in the food processor and add all of the following ingredients: garlic (whole peeled cloves), lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, salt, and (optional) sumac.

Let that run on a fairly high setting until it’s nice and smooth.

3. Serve it up, store it, or both.  Pictured here is a full batch split into two 6 cup pyrex dishes and dressed with the optional top dressings listed above (olives, sumac, and a splash of olive oil).

photo 9

 

Enjoy hummus on sliced cucumber (that’s my favorite), carrot sticks, or celery. Add a dollop to your salad or spread it on a sandwich, crackers, pita, or rice cakes. Hummus with olive tapinade and a slice of fresh tomato on toast… Mmmm!

Covered and refrigerated, this keeps for about one week. If it starts to taste fermented, it’s no longer good.

 

Notes on flavor:
We love our hummus to be heavy on the garlic and lemon. If you’re not inclined that way, reduce your amounts of those things to start. You can always add more. The garlic taste can intensify a bit as the hummus sits the first night.
Not all garlic is created equal. If I have a mild tasting garlic, I might add twice as much. But again, we don’t mind if garlic is eeking out our pores.  
I think the quality and taste of the olive oil has one of the biggest influences on the overall taste. Sometimes we get a batch that seems like the best one ever and the only variable seems to be a different brand of olive oil.
Fresh makes a difference. Squeeze those lemons and peel that fresh garlic.

Notes on health:
High praises to garlic! Raw garlic is long known for its therapeutic properties. It is one of the most widely used herbs in three of the world’s major traditional health systems: Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and traditional European medicine.Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes garlic for its anti-microbial benefits, its ability to stimulate the immune system, support respiratory health, and its capacity to warm and harmonize the digestion. It is also recognized for its ability to eliminate free-radicals, thus considered by many to have anti-cancer and cancer-preventive properties. hummus & veg
It is known to have anti-inflammatory effects and according to the NIH (National Institutes of Health), garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high cholesterol, heart attack, coronary heart disease, and hypertension.
I trust that fresh raw garlic offers these benefits much more than prepared garlic— pre-chopped in a jar. I also find fresh to be in a whole different league taste-wise.

Enjoy your hummus! And if you tweak this recipe further and get great results, I’d love to hear about your inspirations and innovations.

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Susan Wilmoth Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Portland

 

 

 

, LAc, MAcOM
Susan Wilmoth Acupuncture
(formally Seeds of Health, PC)

5525 E. Burnside
Portland, OR 97215

503-333-3722
susan@susanwilmoth.com

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Susan Wilmoth Acupuncture (formally Seeds of Health, PC)
Photography Credits: Jeff Amram Photography and Kelly Nordahl