Homemade Hummus: Mellow and Pure

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About two months ago I read the ingredient list on the side of each of the hummus containers I found at Trader Joe’s, a chain of markets Angelinos think of as offering healthy, all-natural foods. I was shocked at the length of unfamiliar ingredients, including emulsifiers and other things that looked suspiciously like chemical preservatives. Isn’t hummus simply garbanzo beans, lemon juice, tahini (sesame paste) and a little garlic, if you want to get fancy?
Well it is now. I purchased lovely, sprouted garbanzo beans from the lady at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market the followig week, who when questioned told me she does it the old Moroccan way; not in plastic, but in silk. Hooray! I’m all for cutting down on the chances that petroleum from plastic containers is leeching its way into my food.
Truth is the garbanzos sat in my refrigerator for a week before I could get to them. I searched on line for a tip on how to cook them, because raw garbanzos are mighty hard to digest. I couldn’t find a single site that was using sprouted garbanzos and when they did mention raw garbanzos, a raw hummus recipe followed. I’ve made this and I like it, but one cannot achieve the smooth satisfying texture of cooked hummus with the raw recipes.
So I opted to simply cover the beans with filtered water and let them simmer for 30 minutes. Once they cooled, I found it was easy to pinch away the semi-translucent skins from the beans, which I figured would make it still easier to digest. (Thanks for your help with that part, Paul.)
Tossed into a food processor with a good ration of tahini, lemon juice, some water, a few cloves of roasted garlic plus salt and pepper and a tablespoon of my latest superfood discovery, kudzu. Added for its property of soothing the entire gastro-intestinal tract, I knew the texture of the hummus would make the kudzu undetectable. I pureed all the ingredients for a full two minutes until it was sooth, streaming a bit more water thru the top o the food processor until it was the right consistency.
Tasting it, I found the flavor very mellow yet absolutely buoyant compared to any other hummus I’ve ever had. I suppose it’s because canned beans (like all canned food) have so little life force remaining in them. Roasting the garlic mellows its bite, so this hummus was as mellow as I had hoped. Adding nothing else allowed the fresh, clean unadulterated flavors of the garbanzos and tahini to be the focus.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a return to foods with a mellow flavor for their soothing effect. It’s one way I self-nurture and attempt to heal from the stresses of work and the economy. I suppose this outlook is guided by my knowledge of Ayurveda, which touts that spicy foods stimulate our energy and those with strong onions and garlic can pull us into lower chakra energy. On the other hand, mellow, soothing foods help us ground ourselves, heal and tap into intuitive thought. So I suppose my hummus and I will be meditating through the week. Happy Sunday to all of you!


1 ½ cups sprouted garbanzo beans

2 cups water

1/2 t. sea salt

1 T. kudzu powder

1/4 cup lemon juice

¼ cup tahini

¼ t. black pepper

1/4 t. cumin

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)


Bring the garbanzo beans and 1½ cups of water to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, create a foil pouch and place in it 3 unpeeled garlic cloves, 1T. olive oil and 2 T. water. Place in the oven for 30 minutes to roast at 350º.
After 30 minutes, remove the garlic from the oven and remove the soft centers when cool enough to handle. Discard the papery shells. Then strain the remaining water off the garbanzos, rinse with cold water in a mess strainer, and roll the beans around vigorously so the translucent skins pop off. Pluck most of the skins out with your fingers, but don’t feel the need to be fastidious and discard every single one. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pure for 2 full minutes, adding ¼- ½ cup water gradually, until the hummus is as smooth as peanut butter, but a bit thinner.

Serving Suggestions:
Chill and serve with raw vegetables, bread or crackers. Hummus also makes a great low calorie, high protein alternative to mayonnaise on sandwiches.

8 Responses to “Homemade Hummus: Mellow and Pure”

  1. Denise Says:

    This hummus recipe sounds great. Can’t wait to try it.

    I saw your youtube video on healthy cookware and have been wanting to get All-clad cookware for myself. Can you give some advise on how to buy All-clad cookware at the best price?


  2. Jason (greek #3) :D Says:

    totally gonna try the recipe, I’ll let you know!

    Miss you, hope al is well xo

  3. Marlon Braccia Says:

    i made this recipe again yesterday, and I think it needs 1/2 t. salt total, more lemon juice and 1/4. ground cumin. I’m going to update the recipe now

  4. Valerie Says:

    Just curious how you came upon kudzu. I live in the SOUTH where kudzu grows wild and everywhere. In fact, people saw if you stand still too long in the south it will grow on you. My friend feeds it to his chickens. I have seen it on menus, but never tried it or looked into the nutritional or healing value. Can you elaborate.

  5. Marlon Says:

    Kudzo is an interesting substance for sure. Yes, I am aware that it is the bane of many Southerner’s existence because of it’s fast-growing vine’s ability to overtake a landscape. It’s the root that has the curative powers, as most macrobiotic folks can tell you. As my friend Nigel said when he introduced me to it with his raspberry dessert, “You can make pudding out of anything with it.”
    Ground into a powder, the root looks and acts much like the more common thickening agents, corn starch, arrowroot powder and agar agar. Kudzu is about double the cost, but it’s properties as an immune and digestive strengthener impressive and well-documented in traditional medicinal texts.
    I hide it in everything I can now: salad dressings, sauces, soups, potato salad– you name it. It’s available on-line and in health food stores.
    To use it, add it to cold liquid first to avoid lumps, just as you would corn starch or arrowroot or agar agar. As for the taste, really isn’t any, especially if cooked a bit. Recently, I made an Asian noodle and shellfish dish with some vegetables, spices and stock. My guest left some of the sauce in the bowl, only because he assumed a sauce so rich was surely to be buttery. It was kudzu.
    I’m going to experiment using it in pie fillings instead of all those cholesterol-laden egg yolks! It should also make up for the extra liquid I encounter when I substitute my favorite sweetener, agave syrup, in recipes that call for sugar.
    If anyone out there has experience with kudzu, would you please chime in??

  6. Marlon Says:

    By the way, after paying good money at the farmer’s market for sprouted garbanzo beans a few times, I bought some dry ones. I submerged them in water for a few days and changed the water each day. Cost for the beans was $1 and I had 3 times as much. Using dried garbanzo beans meant cooking them for full hour in plenty of liquid, but no big deal if I set the pot to simmer and walk away.
    The following week I sprouted lentils after soaking overnight and wrapping in a damp, linen dishcloth. After 2 days in a dark cabinet, I had huge sprouts and made a terrific lentil soup for very little money. Great source of protein in lentils and sprouting increases enzymes enormously!

  7. Chef Jeff Stansfield Says:

    This is so cool and I agree the caned option are so bland and not as healthy for you. I always believe that home made is the best made around. When I make mine I would add two things to it. First I would also as a little of the Zest to five the lemon a better base. Also some honey to sweeten it up and make it a little thicker. But very nice thanks

  8. Marlon Says:

    Hi Jeff, Yes, I have added lemon zest when doing variations of the recipe. It is a great addition and mighty handy because of the fresh lemon juice one is already using.
    If the addition of honey works for you, I say go for it! I prefer to keep the dish savory, but if i were to add something sweet, I’d prefer agave syrup for the complex flavor and low sugar index. I prefer the kudzu as the thickener for its extraordinary health benefits.

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