Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hummus & Pita Chips

Do you say "huh-muss" or do you say "hoo-moos?" I feel like the latter is the pretentious way to say it, unless you're Middle Eastern but what do I know? I know that I love homemade hummus. Store bought hummus is good but some brands have this strange vinegar-y taste that I'm not too fond of. When I make it, I can avoid that weird sharp acidity and I can control the amount of salt, which is important to me, as I have low salt tolerance and my body will bloat up a bunch if I'm not careful with my salt intake. Hummus is meant to be a healthy snack and making it at home will up that health factor. Chickpeas have lots of fiber, protein, zinc, magnesium, and they're good for those with high cholesterol.

I'm also sharing some homemade pita chips (that were made with homemade flatbread pita). They're super crunchy, toasty, and delicious. Pita chips can't boast the same health benefits as chickpeas but they're yummy so we forgive them.

Both the hummus and the pita can be flavored however you want, which is great too. You can make the chips and spread match; for example, the hummus can be flavored with some roasted garlic and the chips can be sprinkled with garlic powder. Is that too matchy? I don't know.
Ingredients:
hummus
15 oz. can of chickpeas
¼ cup tahini (homemade is great)
juice of 1 lemon (3 to 4 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon cumin
+ water
+ roasted peppers
+ sun dried tomatoes
+ roasted garlic
+ olives
+ basil or pesto
+ Sriracha
+ caramelized onion

pita chips
pita (preferably flatbread and homemade, if you got it)
olive oil
salt & pepper
+ cayenne pepper
+ paprika
+ cumin
+ dried herbs
+ garlic powder

Let's start with the hummus!


The first step is to drain and rinse the beans. I like to remove the skins but this isn't a necessary step; it's just a preference. Just grab a bean, give it a gentle squeeze, and the skin should pop right off.
Squeeze the lemon juice right into the food processor - and remove any seeds that sneak by. Add in the tahini, the chickpeas, a little salt (and pepper if you like), cumin, and olive oil. Then pulse until smooth. Add in a little water to adjust the texture, as necessary. I like my hummus on the thicker side because it can be used as a spread inside sandwiches without making them soggy.
Spoon your hummus into a container.
Now let's talk about the pita chips! I like using my homemade flatbread pita. I like a grilled version because I think they just look prettier and I love how thick and crunchy the chips are when I use the homemade pita (which stand up to my super thick hummus). You can certainly take some help from the grocery store - no judgement.
Cut the pita into small triangles, or really, any shape you prefer.
Place the pieces of pita onto a sheet pan in a single layer and brush with olive oil. My pastry brush was wet and hanging out on the drying rack so I just drizzled each piece with a little oil and used my fingers to rub the oil around which worked just as nicely. Sprinkle the chips with a little salt and pepper and whatever other flavorings you like. I gave a short list of suggestions above.
Bake in a 400F oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the chips are golden and crisp. The time spent in the oven will differ, depending on the thickness of the pita chips. If your chips are thin, it'll probably only take about 5 minutes.
Let the chips cool on a wire rack. Look at how golden the finished chips (on the right) are! Don't they look delicious?
Serve the pita chips and hummus together; they're a perfect little match. The hummus is lemony and smooth and bean-y and delicious. The chips are super crunchy, toasty, and I love the flavor of the olive oil.
Oh, and here's a roasted pepper version. Looks yum, right?
Here are the recipe pages:

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