Protein Packed Creamy Hummus

Recipe Excerpt:One of the main concerns for anyone embarking on a whole-food-plant-based lifestyle, is ensuring that the diet includes ample amounts of protein. Store bought hummus is a popular and tasty snack but, more often than not, laden with additives and preservatives. Furthermore, hummus gets a bad rap for being high in calories due to the huge amounts of oil that most mass produces products contain! This recipe is wholesome, extremely economical and a flavour sensation, bursting with protein and health-enhancing herbs and spices…. And you can replace the modest amount of oil in this recipe with water to create a completely guilt-free treat that you can indulge in as often as you like! Use this recipe as the base to create your own signature hummus by adding or changing herbs and spices as per the suggestions at the end. 

Course: Snack / Starter/ Sandwich topping 

Cuisine: Middle-Eastern 

Difficulty: Easy 

Preparation Time: 10min 

Cooking Time: 40min – 2 hours (depending on if using pressure cooker or stovetop) 

Total Time: 1hour – 2hours 20min (depending on if using pressure cooker or stovetop) 

Servings: +-16 

Ingredients:  

1 cup (250ml) dry whole chickpeas 

½ cup (125ml) white sesame seeds 

85ml olive oil (can be replaced with 50ml water) 

85ml water 

¼ onion, chopped 

1 medium garlic clove, crushed 

Juice of ½ fresh lemon 

1tbs (15ml) paprika 

1tbs (15ml) mustard powder (Dijon mustard for mild hummus, English mustard for more spicy hummus)  

1/2tsp salt (to taste – add more at the end if you feel you need to) 

1/2tsp fine black pepper 

Pinch of cayenne pepper / chilli 

Pinch of ground ginger 

Pinch of fenugreek (“Methi”) – optional 

1tsp jalapeno sauce (“green tabasco sauce”) – optional 

1 sprig fresh rosemary / 1tsp dry rosemary 

3 sprigs fresh thyme / 1/4 tsp dry thyme 

Method / Instructions:  

Soak dry chickpeas in water overnight. 

Cook chickpeas until soft (+-40min in pressure cooker, +- 2 hours on stovetop) 

While chickpeas are cooking, place sesame seeds in a thick bottomed pan and toast sesame seeds on stovetop over medium heat for +-15min until golden brown. Shake pan or turn seeds with spatula often to avoid burning – if they start popping remove from heat and turn heat down. Once seeds are golden brown, remove from heat to cool. 

Chop onion and garlic and place in blender, along with the oil and/or water and all the herbs and spices. If using fresh rosemary and thyme, remove leaves from twigs and use leaves only. 

When chickpeas are cooked, strain and rinse with cold water. Strain off as much water as possible – if you leave the chickpeas too wet, your hummus will turn out soggy. 

**Expert’s Secret: For the smoothest, creamiest hummus, pop the chickpeas out of their “peels”This is not essential but worth the extra effort. If you leave the peels on, you might need 1-2 more tbs of water. 

Place cooled toasted sesame seeds in blender with the herbs and spices. Blend on high for +-3min until the mixture thickens. The longer you blend, the smoother your hummus will be. If the mixture gets too thick, pulse or add 1tsp of water at a time to keep the consistency “blendable”. 

Place chickpeas in food processor and add the blended sesame mixture. Pulse and blend for 3min until smooth, scraping down sides occasionally as needed. 

Serve with fresh, crispy veggie sticks, crackers, olives, gherkins, or slather onto sandwiches with lettuce, cucumber, tomato and grated carrot &/or beetroot as a protein packed gourmet sandwich. 

Optional extras and tricks: 

Taste your hummus when it is smooth. Add more salt to taste, if needed. If your hummus tastes “bland”, add more mustard powder, 1/2tsp at a time (it’s what gives the hummus a “tangy” taste). If you like a bit more “bite”, add small amounts of chilli/cayenne/black pepper/jalapeno sauce to taste. 

Once hummus is smooth and you are satisfied with the taste and flavour, add finely chopped fresh parsley, chives or dill and stir through for added colour. 

You can add 1/2tsp cumin if you like the taste. You can leave out the rosemary &/or thyme if you don’t like those herbs and replace it with herbs you like more, like parsley or oregano.  

Add finely chopped olives or sundried tomatoes or avocado for exciting alternatives. 

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