Divas on a Dime: Say hello to yummy hummus made from scratch

Are you ready for Spring? Please say yes. The trees are budding, and the days are getting longer. I’m excited to put winter away and welcome the lighter, brighter colors and flavors of Spring.

I wanted to share a super versatile recipe this week. We’re going to explore hummus. It’s healthy, economical and easy to make. You can keep the ingredients on hand and whip up a batch in minutes.

Hummus is a popular Middle-Eastern dish whose primary ingredients are chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and tahini. It’s often served as an appetizer with pita bread and crudité but is also a common breakfast or lunch served with bread. It’s a lovely accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish. My family loves hummus as a spread on sandwiches, added to salads, and I even add a dollop to pasta sauces for a boost of protein and flavor.

Tahini is a main ingredient in hummus that can be a little expensive. It’s a puree made from sesame seeds that keeps refrigerated for a very long time so if you enjoy hummus, it’s worth the small investment. A substitution would be almond butter but that’s not much less expensive. You can make hummus without tahini; the flavor will be a little less complex but it’s still delicious.

To make a basic hummus, in a bowl of a food processor, blend together one can of chickpeas, well drained, ¼ cup tahini, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced, 1 tablespoon cumin and/or paprika, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth, adding water or oil until you get a consistency you love.

A fun way to add color, flavor and nutrition to hummus is by adding cooked vegetables. I got creative with this roast carrot hummus and added some dried apricot and chipotle for fun. The balance of sweet, acidic and smoky was a hit with my taste testers. I hope you like it too.

Sweet and Smoky

Roast Carrot Hummus

What You’ll Need:

1 pound carrots, peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil – divided

1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ cup tahini

4 dried apricots – minced

Zest and juice of half a lemon – approximately

2 teaspoons garlic – minced

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder OR 1 teaspoon chipotle salsa

Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s How:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Chop carrots into chunks and place on a sheet pan, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast until fork-tender and starting to brown, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, assemble the rest of the ingredients. When the carrots are cool enough to handle, place them in the bowl of a food processor along with the remainder of ingredients and process until smooth. You may wish to add more olive oil or water to get the consistency you like. Adjust seasoning, add a drizzle of olive oil, and serve with crackers, pita bread, crudité or tortilla chips.

Making hummus from scratch is so easy, you’ll never buy grocery store hummus again. Happy dipping!

Frugal foods contributed by Patti Diamond, from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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