Aug 17 2008

Yummus Hummus


I have a situation here. I love hummus. And I’m on a low/no salt diet. Which is not an insurmountable problem. Just make my own, right? Garlicky, lemony, beany, shaded with good olive oil, dusted with paprika. A vegan munchy treat that just doesn’t get much better. So, what’s a poor, hummus-starved woman to do? Of course, make my own. And I’ve done that in the past. Let’s face it, food processors have made the kitchen a much easier place. And particularly hummus, throw in some garlic, garbanzos, lemon, olive oil, tahini. Presto! Fresh hummus!
But one of the principle ingredients in hummus is tahini. I’m in California, but it’s not the cosmopolitan California that exists in people’s minds. (And pretty much no place else, for that matter.) I live in a place that has never heard of tahini. Well, I’m sure it’s around here for sale somewhere, but it’s considered a rare, gourmet ingredient and it costs a bloody fortune. Or, I could buy ready-made hummus at a few places, but again, it costs a bloody fortune. And it has WAY more salt than I should be eating. And MINE is BETTER.
Hummus and Pita Bread
But, no tahini available. But, I still love hummus. I searched and searched, willing to pay a poverty-stricken queen’s ransom for a jar of tahini. Still didn’t find any. Sigh, I guess no hummus in this castle. But then I remembered something. I’ve been buying my own unsalted peanuts to make peanut butter, making 36 ounces of unsalted peanut butter for two thirds the cost of 16 ounces from the grocery store. As far as peanut butter goes, I’ve been able to have my cake and eat it too, well, eat my peanut butter while patting myself on the back for being so resourceful.
Okay, back to the hummus. What is tahini? Sesame butter. Hmmm. I thought about the sesame seeds I was buying for baking, 99 cents an ounce, about a half cup by volume. So, I bought the low sodium garbanzo beans, 2 medium cans. I had the olive oil, lemon and garlic. I took the olive oil, lemon, the juice from one can of beans, and garlic and put them in the food processor with about 1/4 cup of sesame seeds. Then I whizzed the heck out of it, until it was velvety smooth. Then I added the 2 cans of beans, after draining the second can. (Save the juice.)
It buzzed into perfect, smooth hummus. I used the extra bean liquid to get just the right consistency. Scooped it into bowl, topped it with paprika and more olive oil, ate it with sliced apples, celery sticks and whole wheat pita bread. And I realized I’d never have to go looking for tahini again. And I could make hummus whenever I wanted, at a cost of about $2.50 for almost a pint of hummus.
By the way, no laughing at apple slices and hummus. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Orange sections work, too. So would carrots, but I don’t like carrots. Oooh, hummus and jicama slices. Hummus and low salt Triscuits. HUMMUS AND A SPOON.
I just ate dinner and now I want hummus. Actually, my next project is to try roasting the garlic first. A whole head of roasted garlic for two cans of beans. Tomorrow, for my heart and my soul, I promise tomorrow will be hummus.

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