For those of you who don’t know, today is the 4th Annual International Hummus Day! Hooray! Alright, to be fair, I had never heard about it until yesterday, but any excuse to celebrate (and eat vast quantities of) hummus is okay by me. It also just so happens that I bought myself a hand blender for Christmas, and discovered there are all kinds of variations on hummus you can make! So naturally, I’ve been having a ball making all kinds of hummus, and have a collection of favourite recipes to share with you!
An Ode To The Chickpea
Before hummus becomes the delicious spread that is loved by parents, children and animals across the globe, it begins it’s life as a humble chickpea. In other circles it might also known as a garbanzo bean or, more exotically, the Egyptian pea. It is one of the earliest cultivated vegetables, with remnants being identified as far back as 7,500 years ago in the Middle East. Chickpeas can be grown in a regular vegetable garden, are harvested from a small bush similar to how tomatoes or green beans grow. They are in season in the summer months, but you can also get them canned year-round!
Aside from being one of the most versatile vegetables around — second only to the aubergine in my opinion — chickpeas are also riddled with health benefits. Study after study after study support that statement, citing that they can assist with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, digestive diseases and some cancers, just to name a few. They’re best known for being a great source of Dietary Fibre, Iron and especially protein, making it a great choice for vegans and vegetarians.
The Origin Of
At its most rudimentary, hummus is the result of smashing together chickpeas, a sesame seed paste called tahini, and oil. When did human beings discover that combining these three things was a good idea? Well, the first recorded hummus recipe was discovered in hieroglyphic form dating back to 13th Century Egypt. Unfortunately how that was discovered will forever remain a mystery. From there, hummus spread throughout the Middle East and Morocco (or was previously discovered and not well-documented), and features heavily in those cultures’ cuisines.
Interest in hummus fizzled through the ages, but it has recently come back to the centre of people’s thoughts about food. In 1995, the hummus industry in America was valued at approximately $5 million. Today, hummus suppliers rake in about $530 million and food-trend trackers Baum and Whiteman say 2015 should be hummus’ biggest year yet! We can thank new health research, burgeoning emigration of hummus-heavy cultures, and star supporters like Natalie Portman who announced she eats her weight in hummus daily for that jump in sales and interest.
The Hummus List
Underneath we have the list you all came to see: the hummus list. I love making my own, rather than buying the pre-made selections from the store, because you get more and pay less and I know exactly what is in it. Companies that make gallons of hummus a day have to add preservatives and colourings to make sure their products get to their consumers, but in my kitchen the only consumer is my belly. So please give these a try and dip/spread/coat to your heart’s content!
Imagine me Christmas morning, my reindeer onesie on, and my new blender in my hand. I was unstoppable. I was going to make hummus. The first recipe I tried was this classic piece from the BBC website. I figured I should really start with the basics and work my way up.
I only discovered hummus after I went vegetarian, before which my regular obsession was guacamole. Imagine my shock when those two worlds collided. I couldn’t cope. Joy the Baker, as you can probably tell by the name, writes a lot about baking: something I cannot do. However, she also has quite a few hummus experiments on her website: something I can do. This one is by far the best.
I imagine you all saw this coming when I mentioned eggplant being my favourite most versatile vegetable. It is as delicious as it sounds, and you should all probably consider making it as soon as you’re done reading this article. Andrea’s website is also the only reason I know how to converse with my vegetable-growing grandfather.
Oh She Glows is an amazing blog, and this Garbonzo Bean Soup, what she calls hummus soup, is just to die for. Don’t skip out on the bay leaves – they’re very worth the time to find amidst all the spices at the store.
I came across this one quite by accident, since I realised I was out of garlic in the middle of making a batch one day. I had these individual packets of curry spices and thought, “Why not?” The resulting concoction made me think, “Why have I waited so long?” Alissa has a great website and her Chana Masala Hummus is a much better constructed recipe than my thoughtless spice-dunking.
Because falafels are just a whole new world of chickpea goodness. I really like the Stonesoup website because Jules’ mandate is that all her recipes have five or fewer ingredients! This makes it easy to shop on a budget, cook well in a short amount of time and not have those once-in-a-lifetime ingredients becoming sentient in the back of your cupboard.
Those are my favourites, but they’re only six out of the hundreds of possible hummus variations and uses out there on the Internet. What did I miss? What are your favourites? Would love to see people add to the list! I hope you’ve stocked up on your naan!