I recently tried my hand at making hummus. I have made it a few times and I keep adjusting the recipe. The first time it seemed a bit too bitter and sour so I decided the next time I would put in less tahini and lemon. So I put in less tahini, lemon, and salt and I put in a lot of raw garlic. Woooeeeee! That made it kind of spicy and really strong. Our refrigerator smelled of such strong garlic. I was thinking that if I cooked the garlic before putting it in the hummus it would make it more mellow. I was making it in a kitchen other than my own and I forgot my garlic press so I really felt I needed to cook the garlic before putting it in. This third batch was the best so far. In addition to the sauteed garlic I was able to use a food processor. The food processor really made a big difference. The time before when I used my blender there were many whole beans left. The blender does not get the beans as well as the food processor. But I do believe the key ingredient is the tahini. Despite the fact that it really bitter it has the flavor that makes hummus taste like hummus to me.
Tahini is ground sesame seeds. The jar states this tahini is made of roasted then ground sesame seeds. I am not usually a fan of sesame seeds. If given a choice I would not eat them, but I do believe they are an important ingredient in hummus. As I said, I think tahini is the ingredient that gives the hummus that familiar-to-me flavor.
I also think the tahini is the main reason why hummus is a bit high in fat. The beans themselves have fat, garbanzo beans have 2 grams of fat per half of a cup. The tahini has 19 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons. That is a lot of fat. There is a lot of protein in both the beans and the tahini. The beans have 7 grams per 1/2 cup and the tahini has 6 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. Hummus is a great source of protein.
There is hardly any sodium in the tahini which I think is a good thing because it allows for control of the sodium content in the hummus. The first batch I made seemed very salty to me so I was able to adjust it with each successive batch.
The marketing on the jar of tahini states that it is a good source of iron and calcium, but it is only 4% of the recommended daily value. Combined with the beans I think hummus is a good source of iron, but I don’t feel it is high in calcium.
I like to eat hummus as a dip. I dip veggies in it. I also like to eat it with pita bread or even corn chips. I also like to use it as a mayonnaise replacement. I put it on sandwiches instead of using mayo. It helps to add a bit of protein and fiber to a sandwich. Also having the hummus with the tahini in it really adds an additional layer of flavor to a sandwich. I really think that the tahini is the key to a flavorful hummus.
Are you familiar with tahini? Do you make your hummus with or without tahini?