Monday, September 10, 2012

Babies Love Hummus


I’ve been around a lot of babies in the last few years and one thing is true:  they all love hummus.  They can even say ‘hummus’ and it’s cute as heck. Do all the Ayatollahs know this?  I wish Hillary would take a u-tube selection of babies eating hummus to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad so he could see for himself.  She could say, “You’ll be happy to know we are raising a generation on good protein from hummus.” (She can also give them the money but this would go a long way to squelching the idea that we are bloated close-minded know-it-alls.)

I have seen picky toddlers who shake their heads at everything except pizza (we don’t have to tell this to the Italians who already like us), open wide for hummus.  The thing about hummus is, it’s like flattery - you can hide any number of unpalatable stuff in it without incident. I have used carrots, string beans, cucumbers, even zucchini as delivery vehicles for hummus and they all go down. BTW there’s no reason to use bread (empty calories) as a delivery vehicle. Carpe Diem, for heaven’s sake.

My Palestinian ancestors were gifted cooks and even I (the mixed breed dolt) learned to make decent hummus from scratch.  With an assist from a good blender it is simple and rewarding. 

One can of Goya garbanzos (also knows as chic peas)
(I didn’t like the results from organic garbanzos.  They were too tough.)
Juice of one and a half lemons.
1/4 to 1/3 cup of tahini (sesame paste)
salt to taste
one clove of garlic (optional) I normally don’t use garlic because I like the clean, tangy taste of lemon juice as the only dominance.  Also the baby might not go for the garlic taste.

In my family, we used chopped parsley to place around the rim of the finished hummus and dribbled a little olive oil in the center.  You can skip this for baby but leave in for adults.

How to do it:
Drain almost all the liquid from the garbanzos but keep it nearby.
Place the garbanzos in the blender with the juice of one lemon
Blend until almost a puree
Add the tahini, salt (sparingly) and the remaining lemon juice and blend
If the mixture is too stiff add a tablespoon of the reserved can liquid or more lemon juice.
I’ve never had anyone complain that there’s too much lemon juice.
If it doesn’t taste rich enough, add more tahini

*A word about tahini which is now readily found in most supermarkets.  Be certain that it says sesame paste and has nothing else in the ingredient list.  True tahini tends to settle in the container so that the solids go to the bottom and the top is oily.
You have to stir it thoroughly.  Turn the jar upside down for an hour to help dislodge some of the solids.

** some people microwave the garbanzos to soften them further before blending.  I don’t do that.

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