If you enjoy hummus, making it yourself is completely worth it. It’s so much cheaper and fresher than anything you can buy at the store, and like anything you make yourself, you have ultimate control over what goes in it. If you read the label of most commercial hummus you’ll find that they use a vegetable oil other than olive oil, which does not taste as good, and many sources would say is less healthy. I also like the bright lemon flavor you get when you use fresh lemon juice, which generally isn’t possible with packaged varieties.
Making it goes quite fast. Cleanup takes slightly longer than with your typical smoothie because you may need to use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe down the sides of the container. Alternatively, you can make a soup directly after so that the remains of the hummus are blended into your soup and you don’t have to worry about scraping out every last bit.
If you use a powerful blender like a Vitamix there is the additional advantage that you do not need to buy expensive tahini: you can use whole sesame seeds that are much cheaper (and they keep better too). One thing to look out for is the distinction between hulled and unhulled sesame seeds. The first time I made Vitamix hummus I used unhulled sesame seeds and the hummus came out unpleasantly bitter. Unhulled means that they are still in the hull, which gives them a light brown appearance, compared to hulled ones that have the hull removed and are white. Traditionally tahini is made with hulled sesame seeds, and when I switched to hulled sesame seeds it tasted much better. It’s possible that if you toasted the hulled sesame seeds they would taste better; I just used them raw.
I usually cook the chickpeas myself, but you can use canned if you’re short on time and haven’t made any ahead of time. I like to make a bunch (~2 lbs) in a pressure cooker, and then save them in 2 cup containers in the freezer. If you plan ahead you can move a container from the freezer to the fridge the day before you make hummus, and the chickpeas will be nicely thawed.
Vitamix Hummus Recipe
2 cups cooked chickpeas
¼ cup bean cooking liquid or water
1 clove garlic
½ cup hulled sesame seeds
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
juice from 1 large lemon (if your lemon isn’t large you may want to have another on hand in case you want to add more to taste)
Blend it on high and, if using a Vitamix, use the tamper to make sure it circulates well. Taste it and add flavorings to your liking. You can adjust the consistency by adding more liquid or oil if you want it to be thinner.
Hummus goes nicely with freshly baked bread, or raw vegetables like carrots.