What's New: Hummus as Smooth as Silk

Have you ever noticed how some hummus is smooth and silky and some has a grainy texture? I prefer smooth and silky any day! But according to an expert food writer, the difference came quite as a surprise to me. Turns out…simply warming the garbanzo beans (chickpeas) before pureeing them is the secret.

Using canned, drained and rinsed garbanzo beans (be sure to select the Full Circle Garbanzo Beans - they're a Dietitian's Top Pick), microwave them for 1 minute on HIGH. Let them cool to room temperature before processing for your hummus recipe. The hummus will be significantly silkier, even after being refrigerated.

Why does this work? Garbanzo beans are high in amylose (a starch) that forms large crystals after cooking or processing the beans. This lends itself to a grainy texture. High heat breaks down the crystals and the oil used in hummus recipes coats the individual crystals, inhibiting crystallization. So if you want to make the smoothest possible hummus dip, then give your beans a zap before pureeing!

Here is a favorite hummus recipe that I’ve used over and over. It even has lots of options according to your taste preferences. Give it a try with some fresh summer veggies as dippers!

Our Favorite Hummus

1-16 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Garnish: lemon slice


1. Empty drained and rinsed garbanzo beans into microwave-safe dish. Cover and heat on HIGH for 1 minute. Cool to room temperature.

2. Process first 6 ingredients and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor to 2 minutes or until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and chill 2 hours or up to 3 days.

4. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil just before serving and garnish, if desired.

Spicy Cilantro-Lime Hummus: Prepare recipe as directed, substituting lime juice for lemon juice, increasing ground red pepper to ½ teaspoon, and adding 1/3 cup firmly packed chopped fresh cilantro and 2 teaspoons grated lime rind to the ingredients in food processor bowl. Garnish hummus with 1/8 teaspoon grated lime rind, if desired.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus
: Prepare recipe as directed, omitting ground cumin and adding ½ cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped, and 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves to the ingredients in food processor bowl. Garnish hummus with dried crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Yield: 1 ½ cups (2 Tablespoons per serving)

*Tip: Bring to room temperature 20 minutes before serving. Serve with sliced cucumbers, baby carrots or pita chips.

Source: Southern Living Cooking School, April 2007

Nutritional analysis per serving (using original recipe, hummus only): calories 100, calories from fat 70, total fat 8g, saturated fat 1g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 115mg, total carbohydrate 6g, dietary fiber 1g, sugars 1g, protein 2g, vitamin A 0%, vitamin C 2%, calcium 2%, iron 2%

Source: Cook’s Illustrated magazine, January & February 2012

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