Monday, September 13, 2010


I love garbanzo beans.  They're great in salads, soups, sandwiches, hummus, or just by themselves.  I used to buy canned garbanzos but recently became daring and decided to buy dried beans, and I'm glad I did!  The dried garbanzos scared me.  They looked funny, and I didn't believe that there was any way they would turn out like "normal" garbanzo beans, but they did!  I bought a can of garbanzo beans to see how many garbanzo beans a can actually contains.  I was shocked to find that a 15.5 oz can only contained about 9 oz of beans which equals 1.75 cups!  A 1 lb bag of garbanzos (which will actually yield more beans by weight once cooked) produced 7 cups of cooked garbanzo beans and cost about the same as 1 can of them.  Additionally, if you cook them according to the method* my sister wrote about, it really isn't inconvenient to make them yourself.  I can honestly say that I don't think I'll ever be buying canned beans again!

One of the great garbanzo bean discoveries I've recently made is hummus!  I remember trying hummus in elementary school and not liking it, so I've had an aversion to it ever since.  I'm glad I finally got over it and decided to try it, because it is delicious!  It can also be very inexpensive if you make it yourself.  There is one ingredient, tahini, that is quite pricey, but you only need a few tablespoons of it per batch, so you'll be able to get a lot of hummus out of one jar.  For those who aren't familiar with tahini, it is sesame seed paste.  It is often sold in a jar near the peanut butter or in the international foods section.  I've found it at Ralphs, Sprouts, and Whole Foods.  Sumiko has found it at WinCo and Raley's.  Our Trader Joe's had Tahini sauce, which is different than tahini, so keep that in mind when looking for it.

If you're not sure what to do with hummus, it makes a great dip for pitas, pita chips, pretzels, and raw veggies.  Hummus is a healthy alternative to using Ranch in which to dip veggies - try it sometime!  It also makes a great spread on sandwiches!

1 cup garbanzo beans
2-3 Tbsp. tahini
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
Water reserved from cooking the beans

In a food processor, combine the first 5 ingredients.  Process on high until the ingredients are combined, then slowly add the olive oil while blending.  Continue processing until smooth.  Add enough of the water to reach the desired consistency.  Drizzle a little more olive oil over the top.  Serve.

This recipe can be easily altered to suit your personal preferences and tastes.  You may want to start with less of certain ingredients and taste as you go, adding more of them as necessary.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus - Drizzle half of a red bell pepper with olive oil and place under broiler until tender (there will be some black spots on it, which is fine).  Make hummus as directed above, but add the roasted pepper with the first 5 ingredients.
Jalapeno Hummus - Add 1 seeded and chopped jalapeno.
Roasted Garlic Hummus - Roast a bulb of garlic.  In recipe above, replace garlic with 6 cloves of roasted garlic.
Basil Hummus - Add 1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil.
Sun-dried Tomato Hummus - Add 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes.

For more hummus ideas/recipes, check out AllRecipes.  Leave us a comment with your favorite uses for hummus!

*In her post, she puts specific amounts of beans and water.  I simply put a whole pound of beans in my crockpot with enough water to cover the beans by a few inches.  While cooking, I periodically check to make sure all the beans are still submerged in water.  If not, I add more water.


Emily Asche said...

Kimiko, I read your post and it gave me the courage to try dried garbanzo beans. Huge success. I don't have a Crock-pot so I cooked them on the stove, which was just as easy. I separated the finished product into multiple freezer bags and use them in salads and with Indian foods. Delicious! Thanks!

Jen W said...

I found this while searching "freezable." How do you freeze hummus? Just put it in a container and freeze? Or is there some sort of prep that has to be done?


Sumiko said...

Just freeze!! If you are freezing way in advance, you might want to put plastic wrap directly on the top to help prevent freezer burn.

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