For thousands of years, the people who lived along the Mediterranean coastline have been eating one of the healthiest diets on the planet–one rich in plant foods and healthy fats. This includes the ancient Egyptians who feasted on plenty of the same tasty foodstuffs that we eat today–including hummus, a popular dip, both then and now, made from garbanzo beans.
If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a great dip for pita or other breads as well as vegetable crudites such as carrot sticks, cauliflower florets and cucumber chips. It usually comes packaged in small plastic tubs found in the refrigerated section of just about any self-respecting grocery store. But, as with a lot of foods, it’s better homemade.
It’s a lot cheaper too!
A while back I cooked up a big pot of garbanzo beans. We eat a lot of hummus so I portioned these beans into bags slated for the freezer. I like to have them on hand so I can whip up a batch of hummus on a whim (or a request).
There are tons of recipes out there. You can easily mix it up by adding other ingredients such as roasted red peppers, jalapenos, roasted garlic or olives.
Here’s the basic recipe that we use:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
- 2 T. tahini
- 2 T. olive oil
- 2 T. water
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 1 clove chopped garlic (or more if you are so inclined)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Place all ingredients, except paprika, in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add additional water by the tablespoonful if needed until hummus is easy to spread and dip. Sprinkle paprika generously over the top.
Can’t get much simpler.
3 other ways to enjoy garbanzo beans:
1. Add them to salads.
2. Make soup. Try this very simple Marcella Hazan recipe for a traditional Italian soup.
3. Use as a vegetarian sandwich spread.