Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pita Chips + Homemade Hummus



To tell you the truth, I am a little picky when it comes to creamy stuff-- I hate it! But at the same time love ice cream, cheesecake, creamy soups... yet despise whip cream, cream cheese, sour cream and number one on the list is re-fried beans (crazy I know, especially living in Mexico)... so I always thought I disliked hummus, but I had never tried it! And come to find that it's delicious. I think its a texture thing, but I think I am slowly growing out of it--let's hope! 



Hummus really makes an incredibly delicious spread and dip, here I just paired it with some veggies, but also super tasty with pita bread or better yet pita chips (recipe below)!-- its a great simple snack and really healthy too! (but watch out for the store-bought ones, as those often packed with a ton of oil) Also, it is really to pack for lunches or picnics, or a perfect appetizer to serve to guests at a party. And  not to mention the endless flavor combinations available, yet simultaneously is hearty and packed with some good nutrients. The husband sure approved of these recipes :)

Let's start with the hummus. First I let me start with the base of the recipe and then I will share some more extravagant flavors.




Plain Hummus: (4 servings)
Adapted from: Allrecipes.com


Ingredients:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans
  •                    or 
  • 1 1/2 cups soaked/cooked garbanzo beans,  (I prefer this, as its much cheaper)  
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini (optional)*
  • 1/2 cup reserved liquid or water 



Directions:
  • In a blender or food processor combine garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, and tahini if using. Blend on low speed, gradually adding reserved bean liquid or water, until the desired consistency is achieved. Scoop into a dish and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil.

  • *The amount of salt should be reduced if using canned beans as they are already high in sodium.
  • *Tahini is a sesame paste which is a common ingredietn in hummus, however if you don't have on hand, you can always omit-- just use more liquid to help attain desired consistency. Tahini is hard to come across in Mexico, so I omitted.


Roasted Garlic Hummus:
Ingredients:
1 batch Plain hummus (omit garlic)
1 roasted head of garlic (see recipe here)

Directions:
Squeeze the 1/ 2 the cloves into a food processor (blender will work, but takes a little more effort in scraping sides-- I used this method considering I don't have a food processor) with original hummus and puree until smooth. Scoop into a bowl and garnish with the remaining roasted garlic. 






Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus:
Ingredients:
1 batch of Plain hummus
1 jalapeno chopped/seeded
1/4 batch of cilantro leaves

Directions:
 Add the chopped jalapeno and cilantro leaves to the food processor with the original hummus ingredients and puree until smooth. The consistency will be a little thicker due to the extra ingredients, so just add more water and even a little lime juice. Scoop into a bowl and garnish with extra cilantro leaves.




Now moving in to the pita chips...
Below is 3 separate versions: plain, Garlic Herb, and Lime Chili Pita Chips.


Plain Pita Chips:
Ingredients:
Pita Bread

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice pita bread into triangles (like a pizza) and place on lined or greased baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly brown and crispy. 
* If you would like you can even pull apart he front and back of pita bread to make two chips from one piece.

Parmesan Garlic Herb Pita Chips: (pairs well with Roasted Garlic Hummus)
Ingredients:
Pita Bread
Olive oil
Garlic Powder
Italian Herbs
Black Pepper
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together all the seasonings in a small bowl. Brush olive oil over pita bread and sprinkle seasoning mixture over top and Parmesan cheese. Slice pita bread into triangles (like a pizza) and place on lined baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly brown and crispy.  

Lime Chili Pita Chips: (pairs well with Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus)
Ingredients:
Pita Bread
Olive oil
Juice of a lime
Chili powder
Paprika
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together all the seasonings in a small bowl. Brush olive oil over pita bread and sprinkle seasoning mixture over top and squeeze lemon juice over the top as well. Slice pita bread into triangles (like a pizza) and place on lined baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly brown and crispy.






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