People ask why I make hummus, the sandwich spread/dip you can easily find in the supermarkets. Making hummus is one of the easiest things to do on earth when I already have leftover garbanzo beans. It is probably a little cheaper than even the cheapest hummus in the store. I know it is of the highest quality because I made it. Not only that, but it is made exactly to my taste.
About the ingredients
Tahini is sesame paste. It tends to be a bit pricey, but because I can make several servings of sandwich spread from two tablespoons, I consider it worth it. A can will last me a couple of months or more. If you really want to save, you can substitute peanut butter, but you will have a spread that tastes of peanut rather than sesame. ALDI (the European budget supermarket chain where I shop) does not carry tahini so I generally buy it in the international food aisle at Publix.
Allergy to tahini: My friend’s boyfriend loves hummus but is allergic to sesame, peanut, and nuts. My suggestion was to replace the tahini with an extra tablespoon of olive oil and add a little water to thin out the hummus to whatever consistency they prefer.
Olive Oil: I buy a big jug of olive oil on sale when I can find it or at Sam’s Club, where I am a member.
Citrus: Out of citrus season in Florida, I buy lemons or limes in the stores. I happened to go to Save a Lot a few weeks ago and picked up Persian limes for 19 cents each. During the citrus season, wintertime here in Florida, I like to use an old Rival Juice-O-Mat I bought at the Hospice thrift shop to juice Meyers lemons or sour oranges (Citrus × aurantium variety) from my yard.
Sour oranges may be a great source of juice for this purpose, because your neighbors may not want their sour oranges. Sour oranges grow on trees that emerged from rootstock that has outlived its grafted branches, on which sweet oranges once grew. Sometimes you’ll also encounter dooryard fruit from sour lemon rootstock, a wrinkled fruit rather different from the lemons we know and love. You will find these trees all over St. Petersburg, and often people do not know what to do with the fruit – much more about sour oranges in a later post.
I used to make my hummus in a manual food processor, and it was never smooth. One day I picked up an old food processor at a rummage sale, and I learned what a difference an electric motor makes. If my hummus isn’t as smooth as silk now, it’s a thousand percent closer.
When that food processor quit working, I bought a Hamilton Beach 70670 Chef Prep 525-Watt Food Processor, Black. I use this wonderful appliance almost every day to make cole slaw, hummus, breadcrumbs from stale bread, or any other pureed or shredded item.
- 1 cup of cooked legumes (classic hummus uses garbanzos, but you can use any legumes you have on hand)
- 2 tablespoons of tahini (substitute peanut or other nut butter if you like, but of course, the taste will be different)
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 medium lemon or two small limes or one-half sour orange (use less for less citrus flavor and thicker hummus)
- salt to taste
- other seasonings you like such as garlic or red pepper
- All the ingredients go into a food processor equipped with an S blade. Run the food processor for less than a minute, and you have hummus.
- Taste it to be sure it’s how you like it. If the mixture turns out too thick for your liking, you can add more citrus juice, olive oil, tahini, or if you prefer, a little bit of water in small amounts until you get the consistency you like.
Lunch today was homemade hummus on whole wheat ($1.29 a loaf) with cucumber slices (29 cents a cuke last week, 55 cents this week), tomato juice ($1.29 for a quart) sprinkled with Old Bay, and clementine oranges ($2.19 for three pounds), all from ALDI.
Till next time, stay frugal and fancy-free.