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Monday, October 8, 2012

Raw sprouted chickpea hummus


I'm a sucker for a good dip. I like everything about them, the creamy texture, the versatility and the endless possibility of flavours. As much as I like to experiment, I can't go past the good old classic hummus. The Egyptians were really onto something when they created 'Hummus Kasa'; the earliest documented recipe for something similar to modern hummus (although without garlic, and with additional spices and nuts), dating back to the 13th Century (CE) (info courtesy of Wikipedia).

Not only is hummus a tasty dip, I also like to use it as an alternative where other people might use sour cream, or as a spread for bread in lieu of butter or mayonnaise. Not only does it taste great, but it's a healthy option too.   

Sadly, most hummus found in supermarkets today is far less healthy than the traditional, homemade version; popular across the Middle East. In order to extend shelf life, manufacturers add preservatives and artificial flavours, or chemicals, to replicate and enhance certain tastes. So rather than consume these dips with their imitation, unnatural flavours – I prefer to make mine at home. And why wouldn’t you when it’s so easy?

I’ve added a spin to the traditional recipe to make it in fact, even healthier! My version is raw and uses sprouted chickpeas.

Western society is gradually starting to discover the benefits of raw foods, and the importance of soaking and sprouting legumes for easier digestion and promoting an alkaline state in the human body. Disease cannot survive in an alkaline environment, so it's beneficial for us to consume alkaline foods. When seeds and legumes are sprouted, they are considered living, alkaline and pre-digested foods; the enzymes are activated and these become more available for the human body to absorb.

There’s loads of information on the internet about sprouting, but here’s a quick run down of how I get the best sprouts from my legumes:

  1. Soak the legumes in plenty of water for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. 
  2. Put the sprouts in a cheesecloth sack (I like to use a jam strainer bag and stand). Over the next 24 hours, rinse thoroughly every 3 - 4 hours. The sprouts will start to appear like tails. 
  3. Stop rinsing when they get to about 5mm long and store in a lidded glass jar in the fridge. I find my sprouts continue growing a bit when first refrigerated.



Raw sprouted hummus 
1 cup sprouted chickpeas
Juice from half a lemon
1.5 tablespoons of organic unhulled tahini
1/2 cup lemon infused extra virgin olive oil (or regular extra virgin olive oil)
1 garlic clove, crushed (or 1 teaspoon of organic minced garlic)
Good pinch of Murray River salt flakes

Extra oil and sprinkle of paprika to serve

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Taste and add extra seasoning if needed. Serve with an extra splash of oil and a sprinkle of paprika.



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