Hummus…Take It Up A Notch

We love our hummus around here.


Three out of us five eat it consistently. Because we can, and in order to go easy on the budget, I now purchase the chickpeas dried instead of canned. A can of chickpeas would normally set us back one entire dollar…sometimes slightly less. While that seems like pay dirt for the amount of hummus we can yield from one can, I can buy a 5 1/2 lb bag of dried chickpeas for five dollars. This yields a bare minimum of fourteen batches…usually more. (I’m not always into measuring so the quantity of chickpeas per batch can easily vary.)

I also know what’s in the bag: Chickpeas.

This may seem self explanatory but what’s keeping those legumes preserved in the more costly can? How much sodium is in there? What about the liner in the can? …That’s right, most cans do actually have a thin plastic liner containing – you guessed it: bisphenol A (BPA). (Sound alarms here.)

The time cost (i.e.; added labour not necessary when purchasing canned) includes soaking the chickpeas overnight and then simmering them for an hour. It’s as simple as throwing the dried legumes in a pot of water before hitting the sack. As soon as I get up in the morning, I turn the stove on and simmer them while running around the house like a fool getting the small children ready for school. The trickiest part of the whole deal: remembering to turn off the stove before rushing out the door.

In my mind, this is well worth the cost savings. Plus, dried chickpeas (in this quantity) take up much less space in the pantry than many bulky cans. And they freeze fantastically if you cook them up in large batches like I do!

I digress.

I wanted to add a little extra kick to our hummus the other day. It’s not uncommon to add a couple tablespoons of paprika and either oregano, basil, or parsley. I mainly add those dried spices because honestly they live on top of the stove and are an easy grab. Always remember to rub dried spices in the palm of your hands just prior to dropping them in your hummus (or whatever you’re cooking). It “wakes” them up and brings a little life to the flavour of your dish.

(Dried) Spices just didn’t seem enough yesterday. And, I’d been eyeballing the antipasto on the bottom shelf of the fridge for the past few days. A good antipasto will only contain ingredients you can pronounce and recognize. Most ingredients will be veggies and often some tuna which means is healthy! This particular antipasto is spicy which I love…

Oh. My. Word.

The kick in this batch has been enough to make me want to eat it all. At once. But I’ve refrained. I only ate half yesterday.

Always think out of the box when it comes to the kitchen. You’ll surprise yourself…usually in a good way!

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11 Responses to Hummus…Take It Up A Notch

  1. emily says:

    I’m excited to add this blog to my reading list Ashleigh! I always try to be healthy and frugal but I find it challenging so I need a blog like this to inspire me. You already have with this post on chickpeas!!! lol.

  2. Christy says:

    Yum! Sounds good! I’m excited for your blog. Our grocery bill is gives me a stress headache now that we’re a family of five, soon to be six.

  3. Amanda says:

    I’m going to find that bag of dried chickpeas that I bought once-upon-a-time and get started on this tomorrow! I’ve fallen out of the habit of making homemade hummus, must get back on track. Excited to read this new blog, Ashleigh.

  4. Jacquie says:

    When making hummus, what amount of chickpeas do you use if you are cooking them yourself (most recipes call for “a can of chickpeas”) so what would the equivalent be? Also in your hummus recipe you use the liquid from the can, what do you replace it with? water?

    • Ashleigh says:

      Hey Jacquie,
      I fill 500mL canning jars with my soaked and cooked chickpeas. I find this to be pretty much equivalent to a recipe’s called for “can”.

      After simmering my dried chickpeas, I add some of the remaining liquid (which is a bit murky looking and thick) to the jar of chickpeas. Then, when making the hummus if it appears to need more liquid I will alternate some extra water with some extra lemon juice. I try not to add too much olive oil (over and above a couple tbsp) as I just don’t think it’s necessary. The lemon juice gives it a bit of kick but of course too much would make it bitter. So, adjust whether you add extra water or lemon juice, to taste. 🙂

      • Ashleigh says:

        Oh – also, don’t forget that if you get a little creative and add something like antipasto (or roasted peppers, etc) , there will be additional moisture from that!

  5. 35aweek says:

    I think the dried chickpeas taste DRAMATICALLY better than canned—almost like they’re not even the same thing. And that’s an excellent point about BPA.

  6. Michelle says:

    Hmm… I’ve been looking for dried Chickpeas and can’t find them. Where did you used to get them Ashleigh?

    • Ashleigh says:

      I get them from the ethnic aisle at superstore…I believe it’s a 5lb bag and often you can chose between chickpea halves or whole. Yellow (ish) bag. /)

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