A New View of Healthy Eating: Get Creative with Hummus

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By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

It’s so much fun to get creative with hummus. Since I shared the simple steps to make a basic hummus yesterday, today I decided to share with you 2 ways to cook hummus. One, if you pre-soak the beans, and the second, if you forget to pre-soak the beans. I’m also sharing some ideas to be creative with your hummus.

Excerpt from A New View of Healthy Eating: Simple Intuitive Cooking with Real Whole Foods

2 Ways to Cook Beans

One of the important first steps in eating plant protein is to learn how to cook beans, which are full of both protein and fiber. With a little preparation, beans are very simple to cook and much more cost efficient than canned beans. They also add texture and flavor to dishes.

These two cooking methods work well for large beans, such as adzuki, black, cannellini (white kidney), garbanzo, great northern, kidney, mung, navy, pinto, and soybeans. We do not need to pre-cook small legumes such as lentils and split peas, which can be used directly in a dish.

To start cooking dried beans, purchase firm, clean beans. The exterior should be shiny, as dull beans may be old. Store beans in a cool, dark place, such as a dark pantry.

Way 1: Soak Beans: When you remember to pre-soak the beans

Soaking re-hydrates beans, reduces cooking time, and improves digestibility.

  1. Soak beans at least 8 hours with at least twice as much cold water as the beans. Soak on your counter or, if your kitchen is warm, in the refrigerator.
  2. After the beans have re-hydrated, drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Put beans into a pot with about twice as much new cold water.
  4. Add kombu (a sea vegetable) or bay leaves to tenderize the beans.
  5. Cover pot and bring to a boil.
  6. Skim off the foam (sugar releasing from the beans) that rises to the top of the pot to help reduce flatulence.
  7. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hours with the lid ajar. The length of time for cooking depends on the size of the beans, the age of the beans, and how long they have soaked.
  8. If adding salt to the beans, add it halfway through the cooking process.
  9. During cooking, test the beans for doneness. They should be creamy – not mushy or crunchy – on the inside.
  10. Pour off cooking water, saving any that you may need in your recipe, such as hummus, or for stock.

Way 2: When you forget to pre-soak the beans

When we forget to pre-soak beans we can cook them, but the cooking time is longer than it is with pre-soaked beans.

  1. Put beans into a pot with at least twice as much cold water as the beans, along with kombu or bay leaves.
  2. Boil for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 1-4 hours.
  4. Drain and rinse beans.
  5. Put beans back into pot with about twice as much cold water.
  6. Cover pot and bring to a boil.
  7. Skim off foam that rises to the top.
  8. Lower heat and simmer for 2-3 hours with the lid ajar.
  9. Pour off cooking water, saving any that you may need in your recipe, such as hummus, or for stock.

Get Creative with Hummus

Make your own version of hummus. Once you’ve learned how to make the basic hummus, have fun experimenting and intuitively creating your own versions of it.

  • Interesting extras. Add any of the following and blend again or gently fold into the hummus: Cilantro, basil, dill, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, or sautéed onions and garlic.
  • Different beans. Be creative and make hummus with various kinds of beans, such as black beans, navy beans, or a combination of your favorite beans.
  • Tahini or sesame seeds. Experiment with pre-made tahini, or hand-grind your own sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle.
  • World flavors. Experiment with different herbs and spices. Make Mediterranean hummus with basil, oregano, marjoram, roasted red peppers, olives, and capers. Try Mexican hummus with chili powder, coriander, garlic, fresh Jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. Create an Indian version with cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger.

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ACTION

Make some homemade beans, if you have never done that before.Have fun making hummus and share your dishes with us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NewViewHealthyEating

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