Fast & Easy Hummus

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Do you love hummus? If you do, and only have had the crummy pre-made stuff from the store, you don’t know what you are missing! If you don’t like hummus and have only tried store-bought, I implore you to give it another try with homemade.  I honestly didn’t really like hummus until I my sister-in-law made some from scratch and I fell madly in love. My toddler loves it so much she eats it plain.

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Hummus is a delicious creamy blend of chickpeas (garbanzo beans for you northerners!), oil, lemon juice, salt, sesame seeds (tahini), & garlic.  When left to these simple ingredients it is sooo delicious, but can easily be dressed up with other ingredients. It is mainly used as a dip for fresh vegetables, crackers, or as a spread on sandwiches or pitas.  It is very healthy, packed with protein and the good-for-you kind of fat.

Fast & Easy Hummus

Ingredients:

– 1 can of garbanzo beans, or about 2 cups of our own pre-cooked beans

– 2-3 tbsp. olive oil

– 2 peeled cloves of garlic

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 1 tsp. lemon juice (red wine vinegar can also be substituted)

– 3 tbsp. sesame seeds (or tahini, which is just pre-blended sesame seeds. I find it cheaper to buy the seeds themselves in bulk and add them whole.)

Put all ingredients into a food processor.  Process on high for 2-3 minutes AT LEAST. Do not be tempted to stop your food processor before this, even if the mixture is creamy-looking.  Allowing it to whip up and blend well is the secret to making it so delicious.

Serve with fresh finger veggies like carrots, celery, cucumber, or bell peppers.  Also works great with crackers (my favorite!) or as a replacement for mayo on sandwiches. When I serve it for friends, I like to sprinkle a little paprika on top and garnish with a couple of mint leaves to make it look pretty.

Other things to try to add:  Roasted red peppers, 3-4 fresh basil leaves (one of my family’s favorite),  and green onion.

*One important note about sesame seeds/tahini.  It is not recommended to serve tahini to infants, even though hummus looks a lot like baby food.  Introducing tahini too early into a child’s diet can put the child at risk for a food allergy (or so I’m told).  I can’t remember when I first gave it to my daughter, but I think it was around age 2.  You can easily make this great hummus without the sesame seeds if you want your food-eating infant to enjoy it as well.

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