Two things today: First, roasted red pepper hummus! And, two, an edge-of-your-seat post about peeling chickpeas. Yes, I peeled a can of chickpeas and timed myself. It’s what I do.
Up until earlier this week, peeling chickpeas ranked in the top ten on my list of “ain’t nobody got time for that”. I mean, seriously, does homemade hummus require the tedious step of popping each chickpea out of it’s somewhat waxy outer layer? What is achieved from all this nonsense?
It all started a few weeks ago after I discovered a hummus recipe over at Smitten Kitchen. Deb is described by some as a home-cooking goddess and I’ve been a fan of her blog for years. So, when she issued a call to action to peel your chickpeas I kept reading. According to her findings, the step produces an “ethereally” smooth hummus. She went as far to time herself, as well, to further bolster her argument that it’s not a back-breaking time-intensive activity and her chickpea peeling clocked in at just under 10 minutes. Good info to know, for sure, but I saw it as a challenge. Deb is a self-proclaimed slow-poke in the kitchen so, surely, I could not just match her efforts, but exceed them.
And because I know you are sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation of my results, I’ll cut to the chase: It took me 17 minutes to peel a can of chickpeas. 17 I-moved-like-molasses minutes! Oh, I was smug as I peeled my chickpeas. “I’m a classically trained piano player”, I thought to myself, “my fingers are so fast and nimble!” When I turned to look at the clock, confident I had not just beat the 10-minute record, but smashed it like a gold medal Olympian, my ego deflated like a soufflé.
But the disappointment was short-lived after I dipped into my roasted red pepper hummus. As promised, the texture was impossibly smooth. Drizzled with some olive oil and scooped up with warm pita I wanted to scrape the bowl clean, but stopped myself because I had a sneaky suspicion it would be even better if the flavors had time to marry in the fridge. So I covered it with cling wrap and finished it off the next day.
The moral of the story? Some things are worth the extra time (in my case, a mere seven minutes compared to Deb’s results) and not everything needs to be a competition. Trust me, anyone who makes this hummus will feel like a winner.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
News alert: The world will not end if you don’t peel your chickpeas. The flavor will be the same, but the texture will not be as smooth and it’s a trade-off everyone needs to evaluate for themselves. Even with my slow-as-a-slug peeling skills this hummus came together in about 30 minutes, a time investment I felt was worth the restaurant-quality hummus I got in the end.
This recipe is lightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen. I recommend making it ahead of time (up to a day) to allow all the flavors to mix together.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 cup tahini paste
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 1 large clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers, plus one tablespoon for garnish
- To peel the chickpeas: hold one between your thumb and pointer finger and gently squeeze. The skin should pop off. Place the peeled chickpeas in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.
- Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and roasted red peppers. Turn the food processor on and, while it’s running, slowly add up to 1/4 cup of water (for extra flavor use the liquid from the roasted red peppers instead of water) until the texture is smooth and creamy.
- Important! Taste your hummus and add more salt, if needed. Also, giving it some time in the fridge really does make a difference with the flavor, so cover it and let it chill before serving.
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