Do you want to try some hummus? If you do, you can try a carrot with it, or you could use a pita chip, or whatever you want.
— Everett, age 5 1/2, when I asked what I should write about our cooking adventure
Last week, the kids and I tried fresh garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas, aka ceci beans) straight from the pod. This week, we used canned garbanzo beans to make the best hummus ever. (Of course, you can use dried garbanzos instead of the canned kind; just simmer them for 2 or 3 hours first. Make a big batch and freeze the extra.)
This is the first time I’ve actually made proper hummus with tahini, which is a paste made from roasted sesame seeds. You can make tahini from scratch, but I used the prepared kind. As with peanut butter, the oil likes to separate and float to the top; just stir it back down. If it’s been on your shelf for a while, this may require a lot of very enthusiastic stirring, in which case I recommend transferring it to a larger bowl first. I didn’t, and ended up with tahini all over my counter and my hands and the jar and everything.
Me: “Sh*t. Oh, sorry. Don’t tell your mom I said that. Shoot. I’m kind of a disaster.”
Ev: “Yeah, sometimes.”
Maybe hummus isn’t exactly a “new” food, since the kids already love it and eat it all the time. But making it was a great lesson in how sometimes ingredients that you don’t like can turn into a finished food that you love. Some comments from our session:
Tasting plain sesame seeds:
“They taste like compost.”
“In a good way, or a bad way?”
“A bad way.”
Smelling tahini (roasted sesame seed paste):
“It’s peanut butter! I like it!”
Opening a can of garbanzo beans:
“Ew, what’s that smell? It smells bad.”
Note: I have to agree on this one. Why do canned garbanzo beans smell that way?
Checking the hummus while blending:
“Ew, it smells like raw oatmeal.”
Tasting the finished hummus:
“Oh yes, it is hummus!” with a BIG smile.
Also, it meant getting to use the food processor, which the kids love doing. And yes, of course, it has the safety thing where you can’t make it go until the whole lid contraption is locked into place. And we’ve talked about how you only use it when a grown-up is right there, and you DO NOT PUSH THE BUTTONS until everyone’s hands are away from the machine, and you do not stick spoons or anything into the feeder tube while the machine is going. Safety, safety, safety.
- 2 cups garbanzo beans (canned or cooked; if canned, drain and rinse)
- ¼ - ½ cup tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
- 1-2 Tbsp salt
- 3-5 cloves garlic peeled
- ⅓ cup or so lemon juice
- ½ - 1 Tbsp ground cumin or paprika
- Put everything in your food processor and whirl until it's smooth. Stop every now and then to scrape down the sides. Taste it, and if you want, add more salt, garlic, lemon juice, or spices. If it seems too thick, add a few tablespoons of water or olive oil and whirl some more.