Enhanced Hummus

My enhanced hummus with a pita chip. :-) Yum!

My enhanced hummus with a pita chip. 🙂 Yum!

Most recipes for hummus call for using canned garbanzo beans. I prefer to cook things myself instead of using canned, if it’s practical, but cooking dried garbanzo beans is honestly not practical when I usually decide to whip up hummus on the spur of the moment. Garbanzo bean flour is a good compromise between using canned beans and cooking beans, at least for me. I use Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour.

3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour
2 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbls lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbls sesame oil
3 Tbls olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (I use the kind with B vitamins added for a bit more nutrition)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (omit to make it vegan)

I follow the measurements on the package for mixing the flour and water and the cooking time for the mixture, but I depart from their hummus recipe after that. Their hummus recipe is yummy and it’s a good place to start if you’ve never made hummus. Everyone I know has a slightly different take on hummus. Some like lots of lemon, some not a lot of tahini, some like it hot, some want it mild, some want enough garlic to send a vampire into shock. 😉 To develop your own hummus you have to start somewhere. I started with the recipe on the package then gradually morphed it into something else. You can start with the recipe on the package, or with my enhanced version below. 😀

First you need to reconstitute — and cook — the flour by adding 3/4 cups of the garbanzo bean flour to 2.5 cups of water in a medium saucepan. (I use a non-stick saucepan because this is a sticky mixture and I suspect it might be inclined to stick.) The instructions say to whisk in the flour into the boiling water. The idea of vigorously whisking a boiling liquid does not appeal to me, so I have gently whisked it so as not to splatter myself with boiling hot liquid. However, I’ve discovered that whisking boiling liquid isn’t necessary! I get better results if I add the flour to the water and whisk it in while waiting for the water to heat up. When it starts to bubble I set the timer for 1 minute, whisk for a minute as the instructions say, the turn the heat down to low and stir it occasionally as it cooks for another 5 minutes.

If you whisk the garbanzo flour into the boiling water don’t expect it to make a smooth mixture. (It will look a bit like lumpy oatmeal.) But no matter when you add the flour, don’t worry about any lumps; the blender will take care of that!

After cooking, while the flour and water mixture is cooling, stir in 1/2 cup water, then the garlic powder, cumin, and lemon juice.

I don’t have an immersion blender (yet) but you may be able to mix all the ingredients in the pot using an immersion blender. It’s a thick sticky mixture so if your stick blender doesn’t like that type of thing, dump the whole mess in a regular blender, add the rest of the ingredients 1 at a time (I do the oils, then add the nutritional yeast and Parmesan), and blend thoroughly.

Most hummus recipes use tahini, which is a sesame paste. Since I’m more likely to have sesame oil on hand for Chinese recipes, I substitute sesame oil for part of the olive oil. You can tweak the flavor by varying these amounts, but the total amount of oil probably shouldn’t be over 1/4 cup — which is 4 Tbls. (Varying the amount of lemon juice can also tweak the flavor. If the flavor doesn’t seem quite right to you experiment with varying the amounts of sesame, olive and lemon juice.)

I think the mild, slightly nutty flavor of the nutritional yeast complements the flavors of the garbanzo and sesame. The Parmesan cheese, on the other hand, combines nicely with the olive oil. (As anyone who loves Italian food knows!) I developed this recipe with the yeast and cheese; omitting one or both will substantially alter the flavor, but give you a more traditional flavor. You may need to tweak the seasonings a bit if you leave out these “enhancements” of mine, but I expect everyone to tweak the seasonings to suit their taste anyway. 😉

Chill thoroughly. Stir vigorously before serving. Don’t be alarmed by the gelatinous texture when it first comes out of the fridge. That’s what oil does when it gets really cold. It’s fine. Give it a taste, making any slight adjustments in seasonings that you might want. The Parmesan cheese adds salt, so if you add the cheese, don’t add any salt without tasting it first! Serve with pita bread or pita chips.

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