Chow Town

Experiments with homemade hummus yield colorful, tasty results

Updated: 2013-05-13T13:51:55Z

By Sarah Gish

Recently I’ve been experimenting with homemade hummus.

I’m a big fan of the traditional Mediterranean dip -- especially the super-silky version that Lenexa’s Holy Land Cafe whips up and serves with triangles of warm pita wrapped in foil. But I’m on a health kick -- and spring has me craving garden-fresh veggies.

For inspiration, I went on Pinterest to search for healthy hummus recipes. I found everything from hot pink beet hummus paired with cool cucumbers to deep green hummus made with spinach. The variety reminded me of the ever-expanding hummus section in the deli at my neighborhood supermarket. There, I’ve seen edamame hummus, yellow lentil hummus and hummus spiked with hot peppers.

Whittling down the recipes I wanted to try at home was tough -- so I didn’t try. I chose five. I had olive oil, lemon and garlic on hand, but had to buy a jar of tahini (sesame seed paste) and a crazy amount of canned chickpeas.

I put my food processor to work that week. I made hummus with edamame and flax seeds, sweet corn and jalapenos, roasted beets, and red peppers. I wrote about all five of the hummus recipes in The Star’s food section. I loved how all of the recipes turned out -- even the Beet Hummus, which balances sweet, earthy flavor with zesty lemon and garlic. My husband, on the other hand, was scared off by the pinkish-purple color. So was one of my coworkers.

“Looks good,” he told me after he read my hummus story. “But I don’t know about that beet hummus.”

To him, I would recommend the Sweet Corn and Roasted Jalapeno Hummus. It’s a lighter, fluffier, and spicier version that even hummus haters can dig. And it would be the perfect appetizer at a summer barbecue.

My personal favorites: Spiced Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Lemon Garlic Hummus.

The red pepper hummus, with its cumin and cayenne pepper kick, is a super spicy crowd pleaser -- it won rave reviews when I made it for some friends over the weekend. It’s made without olive oil, so it’s lower in fat than most hummus recipes. But the texture’s so smooth you’d never know.

The lemon and garlic hummus, a local recipe from The Hummus Company, is the least colorful in the bunch. But all that fresh lemon and raw garlic packs a huge flavor punch. I use the hummus to trick myself into eating lots of raw vegetables.

What’s your favorite hummus recipe? Tweet us @chowtownkc.

To see all five recipes mentioned here (with photos!) check out the full homemade hummus story in The Star.

Enterprise reporter Sarah Gish helps produce dining and bar guides for Ink and writes a monthly cooking story for The Star.

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