Hummus 101

by in Robin's Healthy Take, November 28, 2012

We adore hummus in our house. The traditional Middle Eastern dip is a staple in my boys’ lunchboxes and a regular afternoon snack. While we like the classic version, we’re more drawn to the flavored varieties like roasted red pepper and roasted garlic.

Classic hummus is made by pureeing chickpeas with ingredients like garlic, lemon juice and tahini (sesame seed paste). The garlic and lemon add a burst of great flavor and the tahini helps create a smooth consistency. But, you know me, I can’t leave well enough alone because I like things better, bolder and brighter. My hummus recipe below is jacked-up with roasted jalapenos and roasted corn. I love the smoky heat from the jalapenos and the caramelized sweetness of the corn. Plus, the corn adds a unique texture. I also added cumin and smoked paprika for incredible depth of flavor. I think you’ll agree it’s amazing!

Nutritionally speaking, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are crammed with thiamin and vitamin B-6, two vitamins that convert food into energy. They also contain generous amounts of folate, vitamin E, calcium and potassium (1 cup of chickpeas has as much potassium as a small banana).

Serve the hummus with fresh vegetables, pita chips, warm pita wedges or whole-grain crackers. Refrigerate leftover hummus in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Hummus With Roasted Jalapenos and Corn

Cooking spray
2 fresh jalapeno peppers
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3-5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray
Place the whole jalapeno peppers and corn on the baking sheet (spread the corn out into a single layer). Roast 15-20 minutes, until the jalapenos and corn are golden brown, stirring the corn and flipping the jalapenos halfway through cooking.
When cool enough to handle, halve the jalapenos and scoop out the seeds, leaving only the flesh. Finely chop the flesh and set aside.
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the water, olive oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Process until smooth, adding more water if necessary to create the desired consistency.
Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and fold in the diced jalapeno and roasted corn. Serve the hummus with vegetables, crackers and/or pita wedges on the side.

Makes 2 cups
Nutrition Info Per Serving (serving size: 1/4 cup)
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: Total Carbohydrate: 18 grams
Sugars: 3 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Sodium: 67 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 4 grams

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