Let me tell you about the time hummus tried to kill me.
Eight years ago, I made my first attempt at changing my life, becoming more fit, and diving into the world of clean eating. I was fed up at twenty years old. I couldn’t run anymore, I consistently felt sluggish, and I longed for a fit body. I spent the next week researching workouts, skincare regimens, and healthy food. I was determined and enthusiastic. Hunched over my parent’s kitchen table, I eagerly scribbled out my grocery shopping list, purchased new running shoes and started window shopping all the smaller sizes I would undoubtedly fit into in the upcoming weeks.
Now what happened next wasn’t my fault. The utter lack of follow through on my fitness plans, now that I will take the blame (more on that later).
Fast forward the next day, an optimistic Allie bounding into my family home hands full of grocery bags spilling over with veggies, fruits, and countless “healthy” processed food. I felt unstoppable! Finally, I was going to begin my journey!
Then it happened. My scheduled after workout/before dinner snack. Store bought red pepper hummus and garlic pita chips. A perfectly harmless snack.
TO MOST PEOPLE.
I am not exaggerating, about six pita chips and two tablespoons of hummus in, I felt a strange, itching sensation take over my entire body, a raging heat flooded my extremities.
But, I continued to nibble. Maybe my workout was a little too tough this afternoon. Halfway through chewing, I noticed I wasn’t chewing pita chips anymore, I was chewing my TONGUE. I started to panic, walked into the living room, spewed out with a thick lisp “Mom, I think something is wrong with me”. My mother, a registered nurse, trained in not only emergency room procedures, but intensive care, exclaims “OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD ALLIE!” And takes off running.
That helped calm my growing anxiety.
My mom shoved two Benadryl down my throat without explaining anything further, grabbed her car keys and robotically instructed “let’s go”. I threw my shoes on without an argument; which was strange for me at the time. While we were on route to the emergency room, I flipped the vanity mirror in our van down and finally saw what my mother saw. I looked like I swallowed a beehive. My tongue was 12 times larger than normal, and my cheeks were reminiscent of when I had my wisdom teeth removed a few years earlier.
“Health food” landed me in the hospital.
I started cackling in the emergency room at the sheer irony.
Fast forward two weeks later, a trip to an allergist and I had my resolution for this freak experience.
I was allergic to all forms of soy and sesame.
The first ingredient in the packaged pita chips? Soy. The tahini in hummus? Sesame. I couldn’t have picked two better ingredients for my anaphylactic shock cocktail. To this day, I think back and giggle. This isn’t a typical experience, not everyone is diagnosed with a food allergy at twenty years old (let alone two), but learn to take the humor in dire situations.
Really? My first meal, on my first day of healthy eating, and I choke on my tongue. Story of my life.
Now that I have depressed everyone, on to the best hummus, that just so happens to be non-murderous to the author.
This recipe is tahini free, and has olive oil in it, which by all definitions makes it not true hummus, but more of a chick pea dip, but since I am allergic to tahini, I am going to take a leap and still designate this addicting spread “hummus”. The secret to this hummus is removing the chick pea skins.
I am going to be up front with you, because I love and care for you: this part is a pain in the ass.
Every single time I start removing the skins, I kick myself, wondering why I didn’t take the easy way out, leave the skins on and cut twenty minutes out of the process. The simple fact is that removing the skins yields the most silky, creamy (yes two similar adjectives, that is how vital it is to the process), homemade hummus you will ever try. This isn’t a revelation made by me, countless chefs/bloggers have already uncovered the original way to make homemade hummus, and I can’t imagine eating it any other way. It doesn’t stack up.
This can really be a base hummus recipe, a starting point, feel free to empower yourself and make the dip your own! My favorite add-ins are roasted red peppers (remember DO NOT RINSE THEM AFTER ROASTING, they lose all their smoky flavor), and cayenne.
I am a purist when it comes to hummus. Albeit probably fun to add in avocado or artichokes (why though?), I love the simplicity of a simple hummus. Lemon, salt, red pepper flakes. It is versatile, addictive, and goes well with any receptacle (veggies, on a sandwich, or for flat breads).
My suggestion for the pain in the ass portion of the recipe is to plop down in front of your favorite T.V. show and have three bowls in front of you. Unpeeled chickpeas, a bowl for the shells, and a bowl for the cleaned/skinless chickpeas. I have gotten the process down to twenty minutes for two cans of chickpeas, which is quite frustrating, but I promise you it is worth it. My mother is pretty much the pickiest eater ever (she barely likes onions which is a travesty in my mind) and she gave this recipe five stars, so I promise the work is justified.
And it won’t kill me, so that’s a bonus.
Best Tahini-Free Hummus
Easy, incredibly silky, and the best healthy meal prep snack!
Prep time: 20 Minutes (Peeling of chick peas)
Cook time: N/A
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
Calories per serving: 121 per serving
- 2 15.6 oz cans Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans) Low Sodium
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Juiced Lemon
- 2/3 cup Reserved chick pea liquid
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Onion powder (optional)
- Blend chick pea liquid and lemon juice for 10-15 seconds until foamy.
- Add in chick peas and olive oil together, blend until smooth.
- Add salt and remaining seasonings and blend until combined.
- Taste and adjust flavors to your choosing.