I have an 80:20 rule. If 80% of what my kids eat can be homemade and healthy then I go easy the remaining time. Looking at this like the math nerd I am, that’s almost 17 meals and 11 snacks per week that need to be wholesome and nutritious. As a result I am always on the lookout for foods that that can meet this criteria, and be delicious and EASY to make. Tall order you think! Not so much with a little bit of preparation.
Hummus checks all those boxes and is one of those foods that my kids actually LIKE to eat. So instead of reaching for the readymade dips at the grocery I decided to make it at home.
Homemade Hummus Recipe
Shortly after we were married my husband and I lived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for a few years. It was an unforgettable time in our lives where we travelled and camped, dined out and partied late into the night. Aah! The life before kids (BK)! If only I knew what late nights would mean today – 24 hour colic anyone – I would have partied even more.
Back to hummus – it was Dubai where I had my first bite of this tasty dip. A blend of sesame seeds (tahini) and boiled chickpeas, hummus is served along with warm pita at the beginning of every meal in the Middle East. It’s such an important part of the meal that it will make an appearance in some other form in the entree as well – diluted with more tahini as a dressing, blended with roasted red peppers, or along with fresh herbs served with a platter of fresh kebab.
When cooking for kids though I find simple recipes work best. Fewer ingredients and flavours are great when the palate is still trying out a variety of foods. This homemade hummus recipe is a long standing family favourite, and is nut-free making it a safe snack for school as well. My kids have also been known to take this along with whole wheat pitas in their packed lunch.
Real Life Kitchen Tips
-This traditional Middle-eastern recipe of homemade hummus uses tahini and a twist of lime. It makes a great blank canvas for other more adventurous flavours. Feel free to amp up this basic recipe to make it your own.
-I boil my chickpeas for this recipe instead of using the canned version. It does need a little bit of preparation but I find the dip is creamier, and the liquid that is left after the boiling adds AMAZING flavour.
-Easiest and fastest way to boil chickpeas is to use an Instant Pot – an electric pressure cooker. Make a big batch and it will store in the fridge for 4-5 days.
-Many people skip tahini – sesame seed paste – due to allergies. You can skip it but the flavour will differ for sure – still delicious.
If you’re serving hummus to your guests try punching up the flavours – perhaps even a combination of these:
- Roasted garlic
- Caramelized onions
- Za’atar – a Middle-eastern spice blend – it can be added in the blender.
- Sprinkled with paprika
- Roasted red peppers or sundried tomatoes for a red colour and tangy flavour
- Fresh herbs like mint or coriander. This is an acquired taste but also makes the prettiest plate.
- 1 cup Boiled Chick peas - reserve the liquid
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1/4 cup Tahini paste
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/3 Salt
- 1-2 Garlic cloves
- 1 tsp Lime juice - 1/3 of a lime
Blend all the ingredients.
Add salt at the end so that you can taste as you go along
Serve with warm pita, crispy tortillas, crackers or even veggies. The last is a less traditional and possibly healthier way to serve hummus.