Creamy Hummus – for a Satisfying, Healthy Treat

Everyone at some point has had that sudden urge for something. Maybe an iced drink on a steamy hot day; something spicy when it’s cold; or for another ultra-satisfying treat. Right now for whatever reason – maybe it’s the stretch of hot weather – it seems a nice bowl of cooling, soothing and healthy traditional hummus is extremely attractive. Call it an urge, craving, yearning, whatever, sometimes you just have to go with it. For this particular urge, get out the chickpeas, conjure up the best recipe, and go for it!

A dish of hummus (here with carrot slices) can be cool, refreshing and healthy.

Organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas, for those not in the know) are very high in protein and vitamin C, among many other benefits – including being vegan, gluten-free and … delicious! Hummus of course is cooked and mashed chickpeas, and while the dish has been around for quite some time (chickpea cultivation dates back thousands of years in the Middle East) it seems only in recent years has it taken hold in the United States.

A study in 2010 revealed that hummus consumption in America increased by an estimated 35 percent over a nearly two-year period. Up to about a decade ago, hummus could be found in about 12 percent of American homes, and the percent is believed to have increased in recent years. So what are you waiting for? Either you have it in your home, or you haven’t been exposed to a delightful, healthy and tasty dish. Here’s a great way to give it a try:

(Makes 2 cups)

2 cans organic garbanzo beans, rinsed in a colander thoroughly

Chickpeas, often called garbanzo beans, are a healthy and essential ingredient to hummus dishes.

3 heaping Tbs. organic sesame tahini
½ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
4 – 5 fresh garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground basil chipotle powder, optional
1/4 cup filtered water, if a looser consistency is desired

Recipe &Instructions:
Place all ingredients except the water in a blender and combine 1 – 2 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally. If you desire a looser consistency, add up to a quarter-cup filtered water and blend again. Place in a serving bowl and garnish with an additional dusting of smoked paprika, cilantro or parsley.

Enjoy with carrot sticks or sliced cucumber or your favorite gluten-free cracker or pita!

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