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