When I took the gluten-free plunge 8 years ago, I found parties to be particularly difficult. I LOVE food (as you may have guessed), and the sight of a party table loaded with treats that I could not eat made me so sad. At the start of my long climb back to real health, I ate a very restricted, simple diet to help heal my wounded digestive system – “snack” foods were out. As I racked my brain for ideas of what I could bring to a party to eat – my love affair with hummus began. I then arrived at every party with a platter of chopped veggies and exotically flavored hummus in hand.
Homemade hummus is worlds better than most of what you find stacked in shiny plastic tubs at your local grocery. And if you take the extra step of cooking your own chickpeas (Rancho Gordo, of course) – you’ll really have something revelatory on your hands. Once you’ve got your chickpeas cooked, all hummus takes is a few ingredients and a spin in the food processor to make a high-protein snack that satisfies.
This particular version is my summertime favorite – a hummus that is green in color from all that fresh basil whipped into the beans. While the season is currently far from summer, I did stockpile a bunch of pureed basil and olive oil in the freezer for these cold months, so I popped a couple of the thawed herb cubes into the mix.
Now that I’ve learned to eat wide and deep into the world of fresh foods, I don’t feel at all handicapped when attending parties and my dish-to-pass is likely a little more interesting than a bowl of hummus with veggies. A scoop of hummus and a bag of chopped veggies is still a favorite treat for afternoons at the office, and my friend Rachel also reports that her 2 year-old daughter loves this hummus, so it’s a kid-approved snack too!
What’s your favorite way to enjoy hummus? Share your thoughts in the comments below…
Serves: a party
- Combine the tahini and olive oil in a measuring cup and stir to combine. Set aside. Combine the water and lemon juice in a cup and set aside.
- Place the clove of garlic in the food processor and pulse until minced. Add the chick peas and cayenne and puree for a minute until pulverized. Scrape down the bowl. With the machine running, pour the water and lemon juice in slowy. Stop and scrape down the bowl again and add the basil leaves. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the tahini/oil mixture. When the mixture is smooth, stop to taste it – add salt & pepper to taste. If it still needs to be thinned out a bit, add in a little more water and pulse for a few seconds to incorporate. Serve with hearty tortilla chips, crackers or veggies.
- Alternate variations for hummus: Instead of basil, drop in a couple of roasted red bell peppers. Or, add a hefty spoon of your favorite mild chile powder or smoked paprika for an exotic feel.
70 cal per 3T, 30 cal from fat, 3.6g fat, 75mg sodium, 80mg potassium, 7g carb, 2g fiber, 2.6g protein