Dr. Padma Garvey
The plant-based Doctor Mom
Is hummus good for you? A lot of people ask this question. The answer depends on who's making it. Store bought brands of hummus can contain 65-70% fat by calories. The package information is slick. It will say "all natural", "no GMO", "no trans fats", "no cholesterol". All of these statements are true and yet a food that is 65-70% fat by calories IS NOT A LOW FAT food.
Now if you make your hummus at home, you can control the fat content. Hummus is delicious and can be a very healthy food. It is made from garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini paste. Tahini paste is ground sesame seeds, much like peanut butter is ground peanuts. It is very high in fat and should be treated as oil. By decreasing how much tahini paste you add to your hummus, you can drop the fat content. It is a balancing act between lowering the fat but creating that delicious hummus taste we love.
I use three tablespoons of tahini with two cans of garbanzo beans to please my whole family's taste preferences. My homemade hummus is 23% fat. It is a better option for the family to put on their bagels than cream cheese or butter. It is a better dip to go with carrot sticks than ranch dressing.
You can start with one and 1/2 cups of dried garbanzo beans and soak them in water for 8 hours. Typically I would soak them in the morning so that I could make my hummus when I get home after work. Rinse the soaked beans several times. Then cook the soaked beans with about 4 cups of fresh water in the pressure cooker for 25 minutes. Once the beans are cooked, drain all the water off and set aside.
You can skip this step entirely and use two cans of garbanzo beans instead. Rinse the beans several times with fresh water. You don't need to cook the canned beans. Just drain off all the water after you rinse them.
In a food processor, add two cloves of minced garlic, juice of one small lemon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons of tahini paste. Blend for several minutes. You may need to add a little bit of water (not too much) so that you get a really smooth mixture. Then add your beans and blend again for several minutes. You want a super creamy result.