I've eaten hummus made with chickpeas (garbanzo beans), black beans, white beans (cannellini), and edamame (soybeans). I've tasted hummus made with roasted red pepper, green chilies, pumpkin, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil pesto. Hummus with lemon, hummus with lime. Cumin and paprika. Pine nuts and sesame seeds. Sometimes blended, sometimes chunky. Made with beans from a can and made with reconstituted beans.
And I've loved each. and. every. different. kind.
I've recently learned two things about making hummus: it is ridiculously forgiving and you don't need a machine to make it. That's right Sara Janzen, your $6 blender is totally superfluous. Harken back to the days of old when mashed potatoes were mashed by hand using a metal.....potato masher? That's right, a potato masher. I like the square-ish metal kind, not the round-ish plastic kind. And certainly not this kind. Yikes.
If you have a good potato masher and five minutes, you can make hummus. Here's one way I do it:
Open one can of chickpeas (think: any generic brand, reduced sodium) and drain, reserving 3 T liquid. Pour the chickpeas into a sturdy mixing bowl (not plastic). Add the reserved 3 T of liquid along with 1/2 T olive oil, 2 t lemon juice, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 T minced onion, and 1/2 t salt. Then, using your potato masher, mash mixture until it's smooth-ish. At first you'll see the skins coming off the beans. But then they'll get all smashed up. Don't worry. Keep mashing. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups or 8 servings, 3 T each.I can hear some of you now, "But what about the tahini?" Here's the deal: tahini is expensive. Yes, it is delicious. Yes, it gives hummus that signature smoky flavor. But I can't afford it. This means that most of the time I just make hummus without it. Sometimes I try to compensate by adding toasted sesame seeds or a little sesame oil (also expensive). Other times I just let it be. So, if hummus just isn't hummus to you without the tahini, then I suggest you buy some in bulk and give me half. Seriously.
While pitas everywhere are just waiting to to be stuffed with hummus, there is really no limit. I like hummus on just about anything: tortilla chips (think: blue ones), veggies (think: peppers, carrots, broccoli, radishes, etc.), sandwiches (think: toasted bread, spinach, tomato, cucumber), crackers, rice cakes, and my Greek flashcards (apparently).
Here's the skinny (per 3 T hummus):
About 72 calories
About 2g fat
About 6g carbohydrates
About 2g protein