I make a handful of staples each week: a roast chicken, bone broth (check out my new cookbook on Broth and Stock), no-knead sourdough bread, homemade yogurt, milk kefir, Jun tea, avocado oil mayonnaise, and hummus. It’s these staples that I always have on hand to help us fill out the week.
Broth gives us a week’s worth of soups and sauces. Yogurt and kefir make for quick breakfasts, served with fruit or blended into a smoothie. Jun, with its effervescent notes of green tea and honey, is pleasant to sip on throughout the week. I slather the mayonnaise on sandwiches and blend it into creamy dressings like Kefir Ranch Dressing.
And hummus? Hummus is that go-to snack that’s always there, in the fridge, ready to pull out when my 10-year old comes home from school, or when we visit friends for dinner and I need a last minute addition to the table. For the most part, we aim for vibrantly flavored hummus – chickpeas blended and spiked with lemon and green herbs, or sprouted with garlic and jalapenos, or mixed with toasted pine nuts and kalamata olives.
Lately, we’ve enjoyed Sriracha Hummus – chickpeas, garlic, sriracha and smoked paprika whizzed together in a food processor. The garlicky sweet heat of sriracha blends beautifully with the earthy notes of chickpeas.
I like to make my hummus from dried chickpeas, avoiding canned chickpeas. The flavor is superior: fresher and richer without the tinny, metallic undernotes you find in canned foods. It takes a little more planning to work from dried chickpeas than canned, of course, but not much more effort. A good soak overnight with a pinch of baking soda, which helps to make them more digestible, and boiling them until soft on the stovetop or using a pressure cooker (like this one) is worth the effort.
The Goodness in Chickpeas (and other pulses)
We eat a fair number of pulses (read more about what pulses are here): they’re inexpensive, they’re loaded with micronutrients and they’re packed with resistant starch – all good news.
- 1/2 cup dry chickpeas
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup roasted sesame tahini
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- Pour the chickpeas into a bowl, cover with warm water by two inches and then stir in the baking soda. Let the chickpeas soak, covered, for 18 to 24 hours. Drain them and rinse them well.
- Dump the soaked chickpeas into a stockpot or Dutch oven, cover them with plenty of water and boil them over high heat until softened, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Drain the chickpeas, and allow them to cool to room temperature.
- Place the chickpeas, garlic cloves, salt, smoked paprika, tahini, sriracha, olive oil and water into a food processor, and process them together until they form a smooth, velvety paste.
- Serve immediately with vegetables, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.