Hummus Is the Ideal Gluten Free Snack… Usually

I’m not quite sure how I lived without hummus. I had never even heard of the stuff before I met my husband. That was over 17 years ago, and hummus wasn’t the cool, super trendy food that it is today. The first time I saw it, I won’t lie, I thought it looked pretty icky. But one taste and I was hooked!

Hummus tastes good on just about anything. It’s the perfect dip for veggies, chicken, beef, and lamb. It tastes yummy on salads. It’s an ideal mayo alternative for sandwiches.

Best of all, it’s gluten free… usually. Hummus is normally made from chickpeas and tahini, which are both naturally free of gluten. Still, you have to be careful when you buy storebought or restaurant-prepared hummus. You never know what thickeners or additives have been tossed in! Sabra reports that their hummus is gluten free.

But you know what? Hummus is so easy to make, there’s no reason to buy it! When you make it at home, you have complete control over the quality of the ingredients and you can avoid cross-contamination. You an also fiddle around with the ingredients until you get the taste just right! I use a recipe from The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos. (Sidenote: this book saved dinner back when I first got married. It has all my husband’s favorite Egyptian recipes, plus tasty dishes from Greece, Lebanon, Turkey, and more.) Here’s her recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt
  • For serving:
    • chopped parsley
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • paprika

Instructions

  1. Wash chickpeas and remove any rocks. Place in bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight.
  2. Boil chickpeas in the soaking water for 2 hours. Add 1 teaspoon salt and continue boiling until tender, about another hour.
  3. Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid.
  4. Press peas through a sieve or food mill. Add 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to push through the last of the peas. Alternately, puree in a blender or food processor.
  5. Slowly blend the tahini and most of the lemon juice into the puree.
  6. Mix crushed garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and add to the puree. Add lemon juice and cooking liquid as needed for taste and consistency.
  7. Spread in a serving dish. Pour olive oil over the top and garnish with parsley and paprika.
  8. Enjoy!

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