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Hummus is a spread or dip which originates from Levant territories like Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Israel. It is believed that it originates from 12th century. Today it is a dish enjoyed around the world and available in ethnic, vegan and vegetarian restaurants, fast food stands, supermarkets and health food shops.

Basic hummus is made from chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic.

Healthy hummus recipe

This recipe is very simple and easy to make, and it is done without tahini, which can be really caloric.

It requires two cans of chickpeas, drained, one teaspoon of sea salt, one and a half teaspoon of garlic powder, two teaspoons of ground cumin, one and a half tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, two or three tablespoons of olive oil, preferably high quality extra virgin olive oil, and some water or liquid from the chickpeas.

First, the chickpeas must be drained and processed in a blender or a food processor, until they are completely smooth.

Then the lemon juice and seasoning are added to the paste and oil is blended in with the processor still running. Depending on personal preference, hummus can be more solid or more liquid.

Alternative ways and tips

Tahini is actually the necessary ingredient in traditionally made hummus. It is a thick paste made from sesame seeds and it is very healthy, although it is quite caloric, which is why some recipes avoid it. The adequate amount of tahini for the recipe above is three tablespoons.

Hummus can also be made from dried chickpeas, if a person wants to avoid additives and preservatives found in canned chickpeas. Dried ones need to be soaked overnight and cooked in plain water for at least an hour, until they are tender. They are then left to cool down and processed like in the recipe above.

Another alternative is to substitute one can of chickpeas with one can of black or some other beans. White beans can be used as well.

Hummus will have more flavor if the cumin slightly roasted and then ground, instead of using store-bought ground cumin.

Organic lemons taste far better than regular ones, so it is recommended to use them in the hummus recipe.

Some people save a few whole chickpeas and use them to decorate hummus.

Hummus can also be sprinkled with some paprika, for those who like it more spicy.

Freshly chopped garlic, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, dried mushrooms and many other ingredients can be added to hummus according to taste.

Hummus can be used as a spread, a dip for freshly chopped vegetables, on pita bread, with tortilla chips, with falafel, or grilled vegetables.

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