Thursday, November 20, 2008

When Life Hands You Lemons...Make Hummus.

I drove through the snow this morning, listening to NPR as usual. I stop at a traffic light and cradle my warm hazelnut latte in my hands, taking a sip of sweet happiness. Maya Angelou is on the Diane Rehm show and is a beautiful, positive spirit. She’s just so full of joy and peace. She tells us young people do never get disheartened, because that is when we’re susceptible to negativity. Listening to her lifts my spirits, the flurries are soothing, the coffee is delicious…everything is perfect.

A few moments to myself and out of the office. Sigh.

The show ends and the news begins. Dire reports of the state of the economy, GM desperately begging for help, and jobless claims at a 14-year high fill the car. I’m still admittedly fuzzy on this whole economy thing and how it affects someone like me – I have no retirement or investments to speak of and live a modest, simple life. Like those attacks seven years ago, I’m not sure what this all means but I am aware that it is Bad News.

After listening to Maya Angelou’s infectious, unfailing positivity, I attempt to look on the bright side – how can I spend even less money? It will be like a fun challenge! We’re not in great financial shape anyway, what with my paltry stipend and Mike’s going to graduate school – so the fact that we have to worry about the job market means we have even more reason to scale our spending back.

So, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite ways to cut the food bill: make my own hummus! Hummus can be steeply priced for the ingredients that are in it, plus it invariably comes in small amounts in plastic containers, many times in unrecyclable plastic containers. No good!

Making your own hummus is incredibly easy (I promise!) and you can make it in bigger batches than those little “eight” (more like two!) serving containers.

Ashley’s Hummus


2-3 cups Chickpeas

2-3 tablespoons Olive oil

2-3 cloves Garlic



Cumin (optional)

1 tablespoon Lemon juice

½ cup or so Tahini (likely the only thing not found in your pantry – it’s sesame seed paste. Look in the health or ethnic food section.)

Water, as needed.

Oh-so-Simple Directions:

Add chickpeas garlic (minced or cut in a few pieces), and tahini to a food processor (ETA: Or blender). Add a little water and olive oil to help it blend. Stop when it gets to a regular hummus consistency. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cumin. Blend more. Ta-da! Delicious and nutritious. Cheap, too!


  1. I love love love hummus but I don't have a food processor. Maybe Santa will bring me one!

  2. I've wanted to make hummus ever since I went to this "healthy food" cooking class a while back. Chop chop Alyssa. That sounds yummers. :) :)

  3. Renee: You can use a blender, too! Just make sure to mince the garlic.

    Alyssa: Give it a try. Yum. :)

  4. i LOVE maya angelou.
    i quoted her in my college application essay, actually. she is a brilliant woman.

  5. dude. I have an unhealthy addiction to hummus, and I usually try to make it homemade as you suggested. Much cheaper, and it lasts forever. We also get it in big tubs from Costco. Sometimes I just eat it with a that weird?

  6. i should try and make it.. i love trying new recipes and this one looks yum!

  7. At work, I deal with a lot of problem loans and it's heart breaking to see people/companies not doing well in this economy. It definitely takes a toll on me and causes me to watch my own money even more.

    I do love hummus though!

  8. I love hummus and Maya Angelou. I saw her speak while I was in college. She even sang a song! It was amazing.

  9. Oh I will have to try this recipe! I love hummus!

  10. What a coincidence--I was thinking of bringing hummus as an appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner! It's probably not a bad idea for me to make my own, because I never can find the really spicy kind at the store these days. Good stuff. Thanks for the recipe, Ashley!

  11. not a huge fan of hummus but I do love the title and the fact that it reduces waste. You are a good little environmentalist.

    Love Maya Angelou. Like NPR ...HATE the news. :)

  12. So do you buy the chickpeas in a can, or do you cook your own from dried--or do you just soak them? I've seen different recipes with different methods and haven't really been impressed with the results. But I'd love to give yours a go and see how it turns out.

  13. Love your positive attitude! And how you saw the bad economy as a fun challenge!

    Oh, and I LOVE Tahini btw. One of my fav snacks is toasted bread with tahini and honey! YUM! And yes, I have to go to this specialty health store to get it.

  14. it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside how environmentally friendly you are and how many good ideas you have. you are amazing.

  15. If you want to save more money, maybe you shouldn't be sipping on hazelnut lattes from starbucks!!

  16. I've found that Giant Eagle makes the worse hummus EVER.

  17. I wish I had gotten to hear that interview. It would have calmed me before my day, too. I also wish I liked hummus because I would totally make it myself.

  18. Dude. Hummus is my addiction. I had to stop buying it because I'd have it as a 'snack' fifteen times a day.


    For some reason I didn't realize I could make it in the blender, as I don't have a food processor. Hmmm...I may have to try this one!

  19. PS: The anonymous comment totally made me giggle. Are they being serious? Do I detect sarcasm? Made me laugh, anyway. I love/hate anonymous comments.

  20. hummus is amazing! i can't wait to try out this recipe!

  21. I loooove it. And good idea making it in a blender! I never thought of that! Now I have no excuses.


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