Fact: I love hummus. I would be the happiest woman in the world if I ate baby carrots, pita, and hummus every day for lunch (and my wallet might be a little fuller)--and I often do. When I became vegan and started asking my mom to stock hummus in the fridge when I came home for visits, my carnivorous father was extremely dubious of this "healthy" dip, and I simply told him the truth I'd know for years: Hummus is a perfect food. (My dad quickly became one of the converted.) Combining healthy carbs, healthy fats, and all-important vegan protein all in one delicious scoop, it pairs well with just about anything, from apple slices and crudites to roasted Mediterranean feasts. Bring it to a party, and everyone will love you. You can flavor it any way you like, from sweet to savory, and yet the hearty, healthy base remains the same. Hummus will never let you down. Making your own hummus is perhaps even more fun than eating it--partly because of the experiments you can try with ingredients and add-ins. This lentil variety is a faster, nuttier-tasting hummus, and the generous dose of spices will leave you ravenously scraping the bottom of your food processor. Because lentils are softer and smaller than chickpeas--the traditional legume used in hummus--they also require less oil and tahini than usual to become ultra-smooth and creamy (read: low-fat). I've also experimented endlessly with the proper method for avoiding dry, clumpy hummus, so I encourage you to try it with all your recipes. You can thank me later. Add this Mediterranean Spiced Lentil Hummus to your hummus repertoire and you won't regret it!
Healthy Snacks: Mediterranean Spiced Lentil Hummus
Recipe Type: Appetizers
YIELDS 16 servings (as dip, 2 T. per serving); 8 servings as part of a meal
- 1 cup dry green lentils
- 2-1/4 cups + 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons, plus more to drizzle as desired olive oil
- to taste salt and pepper
1. Prepare lentils: combine lentils and 2-1/4 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cover for 25 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft, but not mushy. Drain, and let cool. Refrigerate up to 2 days (you want to work with cold lentils, not warm). 2. When you're ready to make your hummus, combine garlic, lemon juice, and tahini in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend until whipped and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. This is a *key* step in making smooth and creamy hummus! 3. Add 1/2 of the prepared lentils, and blend about 3-4 minutes. Your hummus will be a little chunky now. 4. Add remaining water, spices, and the remaining lentils. Blend until smooth, adding olive oil through the mouth of the food processor as you blend. When you think you're done, blend a little more. You should taste your hummus along the way to adjust for spices and consistency--you may need more water or oil if your lentils are on the harder side, less if your lentils are softer. 5. Store hummus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Enjoy with your favorite snack--chopped veggies, crackers, apples, you name it!--or as a heartier component to a meal, like a chopped salad, sandwich, or as a side to a roasted cauliflower steak.
Also by Jennifer: Chakra Recipes: Green Buckwheat Bowl for Heart Chakra
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Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla