Simple Hummus and Homemade Pita Chips
Hummus and pita chips is definitely one of my favorite snacks. Not only is it delicious and easy to make, but it’s healthy too! It’s much more affordable to make at home than to buy it pre-made from the store. You’ll also be avoiding all of those nasty preservatives that come with store bought food. I make this snack so frequently that I can just guesstimate all of the ingredients, and it turns out pretty consistent every time I make it. Unfortunately I did not have a recipe written down to share. So, what I have for you is the most accurate estimation of the amounts of ingredients to add. Note: you may have to play around with the amounts in order to get your preferred taste and consistency.
- 1 can organic low sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), you can also use dried beans for a no sodium option
- 3-5 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, or enough to taste
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- a few dashes of paprika to garnish
- Open can of garbanzo beans, and drain. Pour into a colander and rinse using cool water.
- In a food processor add rinsed garbanzo beans, water (add several tbsp, if the hummus is not smooth after blending, then add more water), olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, minced garlic, sea salt to taste, cumin, and paprika.
- blend until smooth
- use a rubber spatula to put into a serving dish, and refrigerate. Or eat it by the spoonful, whatever works for you.
- Sprinkle paprika on top for a garnish (optional)
Recently, I’ve been making my own pita chips. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but pita chips are outrageously overpriced. I can either buy one bag of air with some pita chips in it for about $4-$5, or I can buy a bag of four whole wheat pitas for $2.99, which produces at least 3-4 times the amount one bag of store bought pita chips does. Homemade pita chips are also very easy to make, and it takes all of about 12 minutes of your time.
- 1 Whole Wheat Pita
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400° F
- Split pita in half, and cut both halves into bite-sized pieces. About 1 inch by 1 inch, and place on a baking sheet
- drizzle olive oil over pita pieces, make sure they are lightly coated in olive oil. You could also put pita pieces in a large ziplock bag with olive oil, and shake to get them coated. I just use my hands. Both methods will be effective.
- Sprinkle with sea salt
- Bake for about ten minutes. These bake really fast, so make sure you keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
- Remove from the oven, let cool, and serve.
Now you have a delicious and nutritious vegan snack that serves about 8-10 people!
While I was having my brainstorming session before typing this blog post, I was thinking about how much healthier it is to make food at home that is fresh compared to buying store bought prepared foods. I thought that this is a perfect example. So, I plugged my recipe into a nutrition facts calculator, and these are the results:
I compared these results with a couple recognizable brands of hummus and pita chips that you would see at your grocery store. I used nutrition facts from Sabra’s single serving of plain hummus, and Stacy’s simply naked pita chips. Here are the nutrition facts that I found on their websites:
While I was comparing these, I noticed that there’s significantly less calories and sodium in the homemade version, than the store bought. I also paid special attention to the ingredients listing. I used very similar ingredients in my hummus compared to Sabra’s, but one ingredient stood out to me, potassium sorbate. I immediately started wondering what that was exactly. It definitely does not sound natural by any means. Sabra says that it’s “added to maintain freshness”. So, I looked into this ingredient a little further.
When I first searched potassium sorbate the word “bad” popped up in my search engine. So I got a little more curious and began thinking, Is it bad for you? Here’s a video that I found that was useful in helping me answer that question. This link also offers more information on this unnatural ingredient.
Here’s a few general facts:
The purpose of Potassium Sorbate: It increases the shelf life of a product without altering the taste, smell, or coloring of the product. It’s a chemical preservative that is slightly acidic in nature. It falls between milk and water on the Ph scale at about a 6.5. Using this chemical compound in food prevents the growth of microorganisms; therefore, preserving the shelf life of a product. It’s used in many food products, as well as household and cosmetic products.
My advice to you is it to read the nutrition facts on anything that you plan on consuming. And, make as many things as you can at home using fresh, local, and organic products.
If you’re a sodium conscious individual, who would rather used dried beans for your hummus, then here’s some instructions on how to do that. Rinsing your canned garbanzo beans only takes away about 40% of the added sodium. There are also “low-sodium” or “no salt added” options for canned beans out there too, and that’s usually what I buy. Buying dried beans is truly the only no sodium option for beans.
How to cook dried beans:
- Sort them, pick out any discolored, shriveled, pebbles, debris or other dirt that could have been mixed in during product packaging.
- Rinse beans in a colander with cool water.
- Place beans in a sauce pan and cover with about 8 cups of water, and let soak overnight. If you don’t have that much time. You could heat the beans in water until boiling. Let them boil for about 2-3 minutes. Then, set aside, and let them soak for 1 hour. The beans should be at least double in size after they are finished soaking.
- Rinse the beans after soaking in a colander, and place back in pan.
- Add water until the beans are covered, and cook. Add olive oil to reduce foam, add water as needed until beans are soft, but not mushy. Simmer the beans for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the type of bean.
After you’re finished, you can put any unused beans in the refrigerator, and you’ll have leftover beans for days. How wonderful.
Just one more tip: If you choose the dried beans method, then do not skip soaking your beans. That is, unless you enjoy tough bland beans.
Take care, and enjoy your healthy homemade snack!