The worst thing about homemade hummus is, of course, that you have to make it. Prep stops me from cooking most things, most of the time. So cue hummus. This creamy, zesty Middle Eastern dip has filled my belly many an evening, with pretzels, and continues to.
However, by mid-December, plastic containers of all kinds enraged me after a month-long attempt to repurpose anything polyethylene that entered my apartment. Cue insanity. Plus, at roughly $8 a week for two containers of hummus, it’s a snack that can add up to cost over $500 a year.
From the lack of time involved to the ingredients you may or may not have, it turns out hummus is super easy to make at home. If I didn’t stop to make tahini or take 100 plus pictures, this hummus recipe would have required just five minutes to prepare.
Homemade Hummus Ingredients
- 15 oz (1 can) of chickpeas
- 1 cup tahini
- 3 tbsp. water
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 squeezed lemon
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 pinch of salt
Toasted sesame seeds plus olive oil equals tahini
Initially, this was going to be a tahini free hummus recipe because I didn’t have any tahini in my apartment, but then… I did! After looking up a simple swap, I remembered that I had, in the darkest corners of my baking cupboard, was exactly what I needed: a cup of sesame seeds. No more, no less. No kidding.
To make tahini at home, toast your sesame seeds until golden, then place them in a food processor with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and Voila. If by chance you do this backwards, like process the seeds, and then toast them with olive oil, it's fine. I can report this firsthand and also tell you that sesame seeds, hulled or not, burn easily. Mine did after about five minutes when I increased the temperature and briefly decreased paying attention.
Now, how to make our waste-free homemade hummus.
Instructions to make hummus at home
- Place chickpeas, water, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and salt into your food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add additional water and/or lemon juice to thin out the hummus if needed.
- Add more salt, cumin or garlic can, depending on your preference.
- Store and cover in the refrigerator.
To be honest, halfway through making this hummus, my nose (thankfully) discovered the jar I’d labelled cumin was actually cinnamon, so I substituted the spice with another one that’s been in my cupboard for decades: curry.
Like the sesame seeds, curry doesn’t go bad either. Both simply lose their flavour over time, but that wasn’t the case here. A zesty curried flavour lived on my tastebuds for a couple of hours after I put my DIY dish away.
A note about chickpeas
At the beginning of the pandemic, I started buying dried beans, lentils, and chickpeas in bulk (because behaving like a 17th century pioneer seemed like the thing to do). It’s also the thing to do if you want to save tons of money (not to mention space in your recycling bin). A $3.50 900g bag of chickpeas is equivalent to six cans of chickpeas, at least, don’t quote me, and 16 250g plastic containers of hummus.
How to hustle your hummus
After a tiny taste test to make sure my slightly over toasted tahini didn’t overpower the hummus, I wanted to share my waste-free recipe with friends in jars labelled with love and, shamelessly, my website. Not trying to take down big hummus here, but I do hope we can all figure out ways to cut down on our plastic consumption and reduce our carbon footprint. Big hummus is only a small example. By cutting out even half of our store-bought dips, or rather the roughly .4 oz plastic containers they're typically packaged in, we could reduce our carbon footprint significantly. Upon returning from delivery, I received a text saying it was “yummy.” This pleasant surprise appeared despite, or maybe because of, the defects I outlined in a handwritten note with the hummus.
We hope you watch this space for more “as waste-free as you can get recipes” that are as good for you and your friends as they are for the planet. If you have a favourite waste-free recipe, please share it with us in the comments below!