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Healthy Vegan Snacks: Homemade Hummus

humusWhether you need a nutritious nosh for the Grammys tonight or are on the lookout for healthy, couch-worthy snacks, there are few out there that fall into the category of vegetarian (vegan, even!), inexpensive, quick and easy to make, and delicious – hummus is one of those snacks that has everything going for it. If you have a can of chickpeas in your pantry, chances are you can have a fresh batch of hummus in under 5 minutes. Hummus is portable, perfect for packing in school lunches or bringing to parties, and it’s infinitely versatile, too – try adding a handful of fresh parsley or spinach, thawed frozen peas or edamame, leftover roasted vegetables (beets, red peppers and carrots are great), or a spoonful of curry powder or paste. For an east Indian twist, use canned lentils in place of the chickpeas.

Hummus doesn’t require a recipe so much as a loose guideline – add more or less of each ingredient to suit your taste until you have something that has the consistency of hummus. Serve with torn fresh pitas, pita chips or fresh veggies. If you want to prepare it ahead of time, hummus improves in flavor with a day or two in the fridge.

Hummus

1 large can chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), drained
1 big clove garlic
juice of a lemon
a big spoonful of tahini or peanut butter
a drizzle of sesame oil (if you have no tahini)
a glug or two of olive oil
a big spoonful of plain yogurt (optional; leave it out for vegan hummus)
a pinch of cumin (optional)
a big pinch of salt
any additions: roasted peppers, parsley, edamame, etc.

Whiz all in a food processor until smooth.

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