When starting out on a plant-based lifestyle, hummus is a must-have in your refrigerator. Not only is hummus a healthy, delicious way to get the energy you need; it also is affordable and easy to prepare. You can buy hummus at the store but often this hummus will contain high amounts of processed oils and ingredients that may not be vegan, or may not be desirable. Soak your beans, add fresh ingredients, and make your hummus in bulk at home for added value!If you have kids, hummus is a great way to get them to eat their veggies. You can hide all sorts of things in hummus that your child normally wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. Hemp seeds sprinkled on her salad? Not a chance. Spinach? Only fit for aliens to eat apparently. Well, sweetie, you just ate a whole bowl of spinach and hemp seeds! They were hidden in amongst the chickpeas! Fooled you! You can even get them to dip their veggies in the hummus and eat it whole.
Though hummus is traditionally made with chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic and salt, don’t limit yourself to these ingredients. Navy beans, or red or green lentils can stand in for chickpeas. Toss a nut butter in instead of tahini. Experiment with some different oils – I like walnut and hemp. Toss in some spinach, kale or finely chopped veggies.
1 cup green lentils 3/4 cups cashews
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 clove garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon hemp oil or olive oil
Combine the lentils and 3 1/2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium, and simmer until the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
In a food processor, combine the cooked lentils, cashews, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, and salt, and process until smooth. With the food processor running, add the hemp oil and process for another minute. If desired, drizzle the top with a teaspoon or two of oil before serving.