December 13, 2012

Spicy Lemon, Basil and Roasted Garlic Hummus

This hummus is absolutely bursting with bold, vibrant flavors! My favorite way to eat it is wrapped in lettuce leaves with a tiny drizzle of raw honey. For a more traditional hummus, simply omit the lemon, basil, and cayenne.

Traditionally, a lot of time and care was put into preparing beans, resulting in optimal digestibility and nutrition. These days traditional methods have been largely abandoned in favor of canned beans and time-saving shortcuts, and the result is that beans have been given a "musical" reputation. Here are some tips for preparing beans so that your body stays nourished and your tummy stays happy:

  • Soak the beans in warm filtered water for 24-48 hours. Change the water if it gets cloudy or if foam appears on the surface. See this post for more information on the benefits of soaking!
  • Cook beans with kombu seaweed. This improves digestibility by helping to break down complex sugars in the beans. It also tenderizes, enhances flavor and adds lots of vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals. Use a 2-inch strip of kombu per cup of beans.
  • Simmer the beans gently rather than boiling them; boiling will keep them from softening.
  • Never add salt to beans while they're cooking! This will also keep them from softening.
  • Be sure to skim off any foam that rises to the surface while cooking.
  • Change the cooking water if it starts to look murky.
As you can see, preparing beans properly takes a bit of time and preparation. If you don't have time to follow all these steps, just do as much as you can - following any one of these steps is better than nothing! You will be rewarded with DELICIOUS, tender, satisfying beans, and most importantly, no indigestion! Nutritional benefits aside, you will also save a ton of money if you cook your own beans rather than buying them canned!

Spicy Lemon, Basil and Roasted Garlic Hummus

  • ¾c chickpeas (about 2c cooked chickpeas)
  • ¾ Tbsp whey, fresh squeezed lemon juice, or raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ inch strip kombu seaweed (see note above - optional but highly recommended!)
  • ⅓c + 3 Tbsp roasted sesame tahini
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves roasted garlic
  • 2 organic lemons
  • ½c tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Unrefined sea salt or rock salt, to taste
  • Lettuce leaves, to serve (optional)
  • Unpasteurized honey, to serve (optional)


  1. Soak chickpeas in warm filtered water for 24-48 hours. Change the water if it starts to look murky or if bits of foam appear on the surface.
  2. Wash the chickpeas until water runs clear. Transfer to a pot, cover with water, add kombu and bring to a simmer (it's best not to boil beans because this will make them tougher). Cover and continue to simmer, adding more water as needed and changing the water if it gets murky. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. The chickpeas are done when they are very soft. Be patient!!! This can take anywhere from 40 mins to almost 2 hours, depending on how fresh the chickpeas are. Tough beans are very hard to digest and will result in a chunky hummus!
  3. Drain the chickpeas and wash them until water runs clear.
  4. Blend chickpeas with all other ingredients in a food processor, scraping down the sides as needed, until the hummus is smooth and creamy.
  5. Serve hummus with a tiny drizzle of unpasteurized honey, wrapped in lettuce leaves!

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