Friday, October 26, 2012

Two in One Recipes

I like hummus, but I am also picky.  I like it to have lots of flavor, but I also hate artificial flavors & colorings.  Upon some serious label reading I realized it’s just easier to make my own.  Since a jar of tahini (one of the main ingredients in hummus) is about $10, I was thrilled to find a recipe for tahini that was chemical/preservative free and costs just a fraction of the price! 

Tahini Recipe
 To make 1 cup of tahini, you'll need:
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/6 cup (or 8 teaspoons) of olive oil

Processing the seeds into Tahini
  1. Heat a heavy, wide-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the sesame seeds and toast lightly - about 2 minutes, shaking the pan so they toast evenly.  Keep a careful eye on the sesame seeds as they go from toasted to burnt really quickly. As soon as they start to brown, they are done.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.

Next, you'll process the toasted seeds with the olive oil.
  1. Put the toasted sesame seeds in a food processor and pour in the olive oil.
  2. Pulse for 3-5 minutes, or until it's as smooth as you can get it.  (if it's not smooth enough you can add a little more olive oil)
  3. Remove from food processor and store in the refrigerator.

You can use this basic tahini in any hummus recipe, but one of my favorites is below. 

Sweet Potato Hummus Recipe
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

olive oil

sea salt

2 cups chickpeas

1/3 cup tahini

3 cloves garlic

juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt
freshly ground pepper

cayenne and cumin (optional)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss the cubed sweet potato with olive oil and a generous dash of sea salt. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Once it's tender, transfer it to a food processor or blender and add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Process until it's creamy, adding a little more oil if necessary. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and a little bit of cumin or cayenne, if you like. Serve with julienned raw veggies or pita.

Makes about 3 cups of hummus and it will keep in the refridgerator for about 2 weeks. 
My favorite things to dip into hummus are carrot sticks, snap peas, raw green beans and celery.  Just about any crunchy raw veggie I can dunk/dip. I make a batch and separate it into smaller containers and cut up some vegetables so I have a quick go to option in my fridge without being tempted by something less healthy. 

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