Oh hummus, how I love thee. Let me give you a snapshot of how I use hummus. Always on my breakfast buckwheat wrap, as a dip for falafels and crudités, the last touch to my big nourish bowls and even stirred into soup. Okay yes I know that last one sounds a bit weird but whatever, no one comes between me and soup. 😉
Wherever I am travelling, I always make it a goal to order a hummus or falafel side. I will never forget sitting in a hotel in Rome with my best friend at the end of our summer holiday feasting on a tub of hummus with cucumber sticks and farro salad. Or when my beautiful granny bought me the purest hummus she could find from the Bucharest farmer’s markets and I studied each and every ingredient so I could recreate it back home. The falafel served atop a thick scrape of hummus, tabbouleh and tahini in an alleyway down in Byron Bay also remains one of my most nostalgic food experiences to date. Hummus will seriously elevate your meals. It is a staple for me.
This recipe is a bit of a fusion between traditional hummus and Muhammara which is a Syrian dip. I’ve included two recipes, the quick version which admittedly is the one most used by myself, as well as the soaked dried chickpea version for the health nuts amongst us which requires prep the night before but will yield a more intense, creamier, beautiful and superior chickpea flavour. The world is your chickpea (ahem oyster)! After a bit of research, I found that adding a little bicarbonate of soda to the long version promotes softening of the chickpeas, there is a whole scientific explanation to this but I won’t go into it, just trust me.
Instead of the usual heavenly hummus recipe I normally make by Green Kitchen Stories, I wanted to spice this baby up with the inclusion of three of my favourite ingredients, walnuts, roasted red peppers (capsicums for us Aussies) and zesty lime. And the result? #win Just don’t try to eat the whole bowl and leave some for breakfast to have with avo, eggs, goat’s cheese, tomato slices, rocket and quinoa or as I have been doing, in a buckwheat wrap (recipe to be posted soon).
Chickpeas are an amazing legume with about 65-75% of the fibre in chickpeas being insoluble fibre which is essential for digestive system support. Recent studies have shown the ability of the fibre in chickpeas to be metabolised by our colonic bacteria to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including acetic, propionic and butyric acid, which are the fuel for the cells lining the intestinal wall and as such play an important role in gut health. Because the gut is everything, right? SCFAs esentially provide our intestinal cells energy! In addition to their super digestive system support function, chickpeas are also blood sugar regulators due to their fibre content. Blood sugar regulation is a real feature of this recipe alongside the omega-3 rich walnuts. In a recent study, even ½ cup of chickpeas per day in just a week was shown to improve blood sugar control in participants. This review further elaborates on the nutritional value of chickpeas and hummus so that this doesn’t turn into one of my university essays. Whenever I make the full version of this hummus I always double the recipe to have chickpeas to add to salads and to make crispy spiced chickpeas for topping soups and curry.
My favourite serving options: crudités (as pictured), burgers and falafels, buckwheat wraps, salad/nourish bowls, with eggs, veggies and quinoa/rice, as a dressing, carrots, sweet potato wedges (try coconut-crusted!!), flat bread or pita (highly recommend this broccoli flatbread – never fails me) with olives, pine nuts and parsley, shakshuka, socca, galettes, lettuce leaf dippers, roasted vegetable sandwich, or on rye toast. Get creative.
Optional: Experiment with adding ½ a sliced jalapeño, ground sumac, or 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses.
Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Hummus
Serves: 6-8 as a side
- 2 red capsicums, approx. 300 g
- 1 x 400 g can of chickpeas, preferably organic (drained, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel)
- ½ cup / 50 g walnuts
- 1 lime, juiced*
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (leave whole if doing long version)
- a pinch of ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil / walnut oil
- 2 tablespoons water (or reserved chickpea cooking water if using the long version)
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
*Lemon can be used if preferred.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the capsicum into small wedges/slices and spread out on a lined baking tray, making sure they are not touching each other. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until the edges slightly crisp up.
Place all the ingredients in a food processor, blender or bowl and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down the edges a few times. If using a stick/immersion blender (my preferred method), use a larger bowl. Transfer to a jar and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Use on everything!
I like to top the jar or bowl off with a sprinkle of sumac, sesame seeds, chopped walnuts, dukkah or lime zest.
Start this the night before you plan to make. Replace the can of chickpeas with ½ cup / 100 g of dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans and place in a bowl along with ¼ tsp baking soda and 500 ml/2 cups of water. Place in the fridge to soak overnight or for 24 hours.
After soaking, drain the chickpeas and place in a medium-sized saucepan along with ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1 litre / 4 cups of water and the 2 garlic cloves (leave them whole). Bring this to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for an hour and a half. Skim off the foam and chickpea skins that settle on the top throughout this time. You will know they are done if they are very tender, breaking easily if pressed. Reserve ¼ cup / 60 ml of the cooking water, and drain the chickpeas, setting aside to cool.
When cool, place the roasted capsicums (from the quick version), walnuts, reserved cooking water, salt and pepper, lime juice, cumin and olive oil in a bowl or food processor and blend (or with an immersion blender) until creamy and smooth. Transfer to a jar and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Wallace, T. C., Murray, R. M., & Zelman, K. M. (2016). The nutritional value and health benefits of chickpeas and hummus. Nutrients, 8(12), 766. doi:10.3390/nu8120766
WH Foods. (n.d.). Garbanzo beans. Retrieved from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58