I don't think I could get through a week without hummus. It's always there for me when I need it.
When I want something healthy but effortless for lunch... there's my hummus. When I want a quick snack...boom! There. When I want to put something on the table for kids that I can feel good about... hummus never lets me down.
We all know hummus is a great source of protein and contains tons of fiber, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. It's certainly a healthier alternative to processed dips and dressings AND tastes amazing in sandwiches made with nutty whole grain breads, in wraps and on top of crunchy salads.
If you have chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste) and a food processor, you can make hummus. It can be made in a flash and tastes so much better than store bought varieties. It's also healthier depending on the brand of hummus you buy. Some can be full of sodium and unnatural ingredients. There are virtually endless possibilities in terms of mixing and matching different beans with complimenting spices and flavors (search "hummus" on Pinterest and you'll see what I mean).
I happen to love the flavors of garden vegetables in my hummus. For this version I use zucchini, peppers and carrots (all fresh and widely available this time of year). I also add freshly chopped chives and pine nuts to the top for added crunch and fresh lemony essence.
Besides adding all those yummy ingredients together, I do something rather insane but totally worth it...I take the skin off of every single chickpea (which in fact, happens to be the secret to a creamy and luxurious hummus). It actually doesn't take long (10 minutes max). The skin comes right off as it slides between your fingertips. If you have a few little helpers around it makes the task a whole lot more fun! My daughter and I actually had quite a few laughs as a few rogue chickpeas went flying across the kitchen.
I suggest you have some hummus in your fridge waiting for you this summer. Serve it up poolside when guests stop by, bring it to the beach, work, the park, on a picnic or anywhere really. I promise it won't let you down!
Creamy Garden Vegetable Hummus with Chives
- 1 15 oz. carton chickpeas *skins off optional
- one half of a small zucchini cut into thick chunks
- one half of a red pepper cut into a few thick slices
- 1 thin small carrot cut into chunks
- 1 garlic clove
- ⅓ cup tahini
- juice from half a lemon
- 4-6 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- handful of freshly chopped chives
- 1-2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Put the vegetables into a food processor and give it a few quick pulses.
- Add the chickpeas, tahini, garlic and begin to blend.
- Add the water a tablespoon at a time and continue to blend until you get the consistency you desire.
- Transfer the hummus to a small bowl and top with chives, pine nuts and drizzle with the olive oil.
- Serve with leftover vegetable slices and or crackers.