Wednesday, November 19, 2008


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                     Silky-smooth, creamy low-fat Hummus


I spread a little very good extra-virgin olive oil on the top of the hummus, but you can omit that if you wish. (There is no olive oil in the hummus itself.) I like to serve hummus like this in the Middle Eastern fashion, spread out on a plate, shallow pasta bowl, or platter-- it's easier to share that way!

SEE ALSO: My Vegan Version of Hummus Bil “Lahme” (Hummus with Spicy Vegan “Meat” & Nut Mixture)


Many versions of this popular Middle Eastern chickpea dip or spread are chock-full of olive oil (I've seen recipes with as much as 1/2 cup of olive oil in the hummus) and too much sesame tahini. I have been making low-fat hummus for many years, and I have been constantly researching, experimenting and testing in order to make delicious homemade hummus without using a lot of oil. I wanted to make the best-tasting, creamiest hummus possible!

Over the years, I adjusted my familiar seasoning a little and adopted the "hot chickpea" method. I have learned that, besides using hot chickpeas and liquid, using more liquid and a good blender (instead of a food processor) is also crucial to making creamy, smooth  hummus. My new improved recipe contains a samll amount of tahini and no olive oil in the hummus itself, but it's truly creamy and rich-tasting. Good ingredients, a good blender, and the method make all the difference.

Guests and family are very impressed by this recipe, and I have been known to even eat it for breakfast. (In the summer I make it almost every other day, with chickpeas cooked in my Instant Pot.) It's a great spread to have around for snacks, and it's far better (and cheaper) than any store bought hummus that you can buy (which are often far too thick and grainy). You might also like to try some of the variations below the recipe.

Printable Recipe

Quality ingredients and HOT chickpeas and liquid are essential to good-tasting, creamy hummus, especially when you are using only a moderate amount of tahini, and olive oil simply for garnish, flavor and lubricant on the surface , but none in the hummus itself. A good blender and sufficient time blending is also essential to get the right texture.

2 cups VERY HOT well-cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), or canned (a 19 ounce can), drained & rinsed
AND VERY HOT UNsalted chickpea cooking broth (aquafaba), UNsalted canned liquid, or water to cover the chickpeas, with a little more kept aside in case you need more while blending
NOTE: It is important to use VERY HOT chickpeas and liquid in this recipe-- it is one of the secrets to making creamy hummus without having to remove the chickpea skins, as is the norm in the Middle East.
1/4 cup lemon juice, preferably freshly-squeezed (or organic bottled)
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (This sounds like a lot, but the amount of liquid increases the volume of this recipe.)
1/2 slightly heaping teaspoon ground cumin
2 heaping tablespoons sesame tahini (see Cooking Tips below for recommended brands)

Possible garnishes:
olive oil
za'atar (see this link)
black marinated olives
cooked or canned, drained chickpeas
paprika or smoked paprika (pimenton-- mild or hot)
chopped fresh parsley or mint
chopped green onions
toasted pine nuts or almonds
grated organic lemon zest

If possible, use freshly-cooked chickpeas straight from the pot. If that is not possible, reheat home-cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas by heating them, just covered in their cooking broth, or water if they are canned (do NOT use the canned liquid!) in a pot or in the microwave until they are very hot throughout.

Place the hot chickpeas and the liquid that just covers them in a blender (preferably high speed) with all of the ingredients. Process until it is very smooth and creamy-- no granulated texture.

If the mixture seems too thick and/or the blender stalls, you may add more hot liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Remember that the hummus at this point should be thinner than you want it when it has cooled! It will thicken as it cools. It is meant to be smooth  and creamy, not thick and pasty (see photos above). Note: The garlic flavor will be stronger after the hummus sits for a while.

Place in a shallow bowl or spread on a plate, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, if you like, cover and refrigerate until serving time. FOR BEST FLAVOR, BRING TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE SERVING.

Add Garnishes as you like. Serve with raw veggies and wedges of sprouted or whole wheat pita bread, pita chips, sourdough bread, or fat-free dark rye crisps.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/3 cup serving):
92.2 calories; 26% calories from fat; 2.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 182.3mg sodium; 150.1mg potassium; 13.2g carbohydrates; 3.5g fiber; 2.2g sugar; 9.7g net carbs; 4.4g protein; 1.4 points.

Cooking Tips
Cooks Illustrated Magazine recommends the following brands of tahini 

Joyva Sesame Tahini
Krinos Tahini
Arrowhead Mills Organic Sesame Tahini
Alma Sesame Tahini
Cortas Tahina
(I use ARZ Fine Foods Tahina, a Lebanese import distributed from Toronto.)



Carrie said...

Thanks for this - I've been looking for a good low fat hummus!

Anonymous said...

So funny, I have been making a lot of hummus lately too! Middle Eastern food is so vegan friendly!
Check out my blog on:

Sandman843 said...

Gee I wish I had this recipe when I made my Stuffed artichoke bottoms. Seems like it would have made a little thicker hummus, next time for sure! I used the Chickpeas. Seems they have a lot of vegan friendly foods.

Kind Regards

The Veggie Queen said...

Thanks for sharing this and especially the techniques. I guess that it's what I usually do since I make my own beans in the pressure cooker and they are usually fall-apart soft and hot when I process them. I hadn't thought to heat the tahini.
There is also a wonderful raw tahini (expensive, though) by Artisana.
Keep up the great work. And it was nice to meet you at the McDougall weekend. I wish that I'd had a chance to taste your hummus.

julie hasson said...

Great idea Bryanna about the hot chickpeas and tahini. I can't wait to try it out!

in2insight said...

OMG, after years of making what I thought was great Hummus, you have shown me the error of my ways... :)
What a wiz you are to think of the warm ingredients. Yes, it makes a world of difference!
Awesome and yummy.

Anne from Vegan Digest said...

How funny, I just tried making hummus two nights ago with basically your same recipe, but I was not happy with the results. My chickpeas were home cooked, so I had high hopes. But it wasn't creamy enough and my husband wasn't crazy about it, even though he loves the Trader Joe's hummus we usually buy. I'm guessing that heating the ingredients is the trick? I'm going to give it another try tomorrow.

J.L. Martin said...

I am salivating over this hummus right now. Heating definitely seems to be the trick. I topped with smoked paprkia and it's really tasty!

Dori said...

I have been overwhelmed with work and as a student taking classes, so eating is on the run except for today. I am snowed in and schools were closed (yeah!) so I get to ndulge in a day of yummy cooking. I made your salami and ketchup. This hummous looks good ... now off I go to my kitchen to make some.

I send you immunity thoughts so you can fight off the dreaded cold. :)

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

So nice to hear from you, Dori! A snowed-in day is a nice break sometimes, isn't it? My cold wasn't too bad-- a bit of a loose cough, but it never went into my head.

I hope you enjoyed all the recipes you tried! I miss your kitchen wisdom! All the best to you and your over the holidays!

Anonymous said...

I am allergic to sesame, and therefore tahini. Would I be able to leave it out? Is there something else I could substitute for it? Thanks!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

runroamrecycle, tahini has a very distinctive taste, not a bland as most nuts and seeds, but some people use hemp butter in hummous.

Unknown said...

I have been making my own hummus for a while but am concerned about the oil too. I am going to try the hot method. question: I don't use tahini at all. I just don't like it. I do use a good bit of raw garlic in mine. Is there anything else I can use to help with the emulsion, or perhaps I can use a small dose of olive oil (instead of the obscene amounts I have had to use to get it to go smooth)? Any suggestions? Thanks!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Rachael, try it using olive oil instead of tahini. You could also try it with almond butter or something like that that you like the taste of. Actually, I've made it with hemp butter before and it was pretty good!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great recipe. I have not tried warming the beans and tahini, but this makes sense.

I read in another blog about adding an ice cube as you are processing the hummus to make it creamier. It worked with other hummus recipes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryanna
I know this is a post from a while ago but here I am on New Years Eve making your outstanding recipe! Yum! Love the smooth and satisfying texture.

Just wanted to say how much our family appreciates your palate, knowledge, skill and well tested recipes. We return to them over and over again.

May it be a Bright, Peaceful New Year to You and Yours,

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks so much for your lovely message, Cynthia! Have a wonderful holiday!