Hummus and Aquafaba | the Green Kitchen

Drizzled on the hummus: olive oil, pine nuts, sumac & nigella seeds

The debate on all things hummus can be ferocious and passionate. Where was hummus originated? Who makes the best hummus? When to eat it? To chill or not to chill? What should be included in the classic hummus? Olive oil? Greek yogurt? Cumin?

I’m not impartial as the debate goes. My one and only hummus recipe  on this blog was from Yotam Ottolenghi, whom I greatly admire. He insists that hummus should only include the key ingredients of: dried chickpeas, tahini, bicarbonate of soda, garlic, lemon juice and salt. And nothing else. Olive oil should be on the hummus, but not in it.

I’m happy to see that David Lebovitz’s recipe of hummus in My Paris Kitchen follows a similar approach. At Cook-the-book-fridays, we are put to task this week to make hummus. I served up David’s version of hummus with some homemade flat bread with olive oil drizzled on top.

Making hummus is yet another example showing that homemade food is superior in so many ways. You have control over the ingredients, the process and, ultimately, better tasting and healthier food.

The recipe starts with soaking dried chickpeas overnight. Cook the chickpeas in three times as much water until very tender. It took me a litter over an hour. After straining the cooked chickpeas, they were blitzed with the rest of the ingredients in the Vita-mix until the hummus was completely and utterly smooth. That took seconds to do in the high-power blender. I added some of the cooking liquid when the blender sounded a bit labored to get the texture desired.

Besides the hummus, the liquid from cooking the chickpeas is one of the most useful and amazing byproducts I’ve ever come across—the aquafaba. I have used the chickpea liquid to make vegan whipped cream and meringue cookies. I carefully saved every drop of the cooking liquid for later use.

“Beans, beans, the magical fruit
Healthy, tasty
And useful, to boot!
Save that canned water,
And whip it to foam
It’s an egg-white replacement
Made right at home!”

Finally, a bean-water mayonnaise called Fabanaise came to market in early 2016. It’s one of the first commercial aquafaba products I know of. In recent months, “aquafaba” has been added to the Oxford Dictionaries database.

The unintended consequence of writing a food blog is now sustaining a green kitchen ecosystem. I’d not have anticipated that. The involvement is going beyond cooking good food for family and company. It has become a style of preserving and integrating the food supply chain on the home front. This summer, I’ve expanded my herb garden and started an organic heirloom vegetable garden. Composting is part of the effort to recycle some of the kitchen and yard wastes and to improve the soil. As a result, I’m feeling more connected to and mindful of the plate of food I put on the table.

This post is also shown here at foodgawker.


Included in the hummus: dried chickpeas, baking soda, tahini, lemon juice & garlic


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  • Reply
    Chez Nana
    June 2, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I love the way your hummus looks, it is much lighter in color than mine and I’m wondering is it because you cooked the chickpeas fresh. I used them from a can, but the flavor was delicious and loved the recipe. Definitely a keeper of a recipe.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2017 at 12:24 am

    Dorie has a similar hummus recipe too, right? I remember cooking chickpeas from scratch before for a recipe but by another author. I visited your link for the aquafaba but the microwave brioche is beyond me cos I do not own a microwave nor a siphon(?) so I can only admire your results!

  • Reply
    Katie from ProfWhoCooks
    June 3, 2017 at 10:40 am

    That is so interesting to know about the aquafaba! I had no idea! I’ll keep this in mind for a vegan family member since I usually make a coconut cream whipped cream to go with desserts. Your hummus looks fabulous and I wish I’d had the time to make the chickpeas from scratch.

  • Reply
    Katie from ProfWhoCooks
    June 3, 2017 at 10:42 am

    That is so amazing re the aquafaba! I had no idea it could be used like that. I’m going to keep this in mind for a vegan family member–I usually make coconut cream whipped cream for him if there’s a dessert he can eat. Your hummus looks amazing and I really wish I’d had the time to make the chickpeas on my own instead of using canned!

  • Reply
    Mary Hirsch
    June 3, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    I always look forward to your posts because, as I’ve said before, there is always something to learn. Aquafaba. The name says it all. Aqua meaning water and faba being a genus of leguminous plants that includes the chick pea. I also looked at Ottolenghi’s recipe before making David’s. I had always wanted to make O’s version so was glad that David’s was somewhat similar. Mine needed more liquid also, which I added, but the flavoring was good and I can always do add-ins when I wish. Homemade is better than store-bought, isn’t it. Your I Heart… sounds fun. I’ve cooked through Hugh’s Vegetarian cookbook with Andrea, The Kitchen Lioness and enjoyed his creativity and recipes.

  • Reply
    June 4, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Your hummus looks perfect and I’m of the same mind, additional flavourings and olive oil should top hummus, rather than being incorporated into it. I saved the aquafaba from my chickpeas, too – it’s so useful! I’m recipe-testing from a cookbook by the same name for a review coming up on my blog, so it’s going to be used up soon. I agree with Mary, your posts are well-written, full of information, and accompanied by beautiful photographs.

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