Hummus - oh hummus. I’ve had a turbulent relationship with hummus over the years. I love it, but it most definitely does not love me back. Or if it does, that love lasts but only a few short hours before feeling its wrath.
Like all legumes, chickpeas tend to be a source of struggle for those suffering with food sensitivity and gut issues. But I find myself time and again coming back to them, especially to chickpeas in an attempt to make them gut friendly and easy on digestion.
Considering the proximity of Romania to Turkey and Greece (which are renowned for hummus) I never had it growing up. Romanians borrowed and made versions of nearly every other food, but that one seems to have slipped through, either due to lack of resources or otherwise.
Regardless, the first time I tried hummus was one of those mini divine experiences. I had no idea what it actually was, I just remember thinking, there was life BH (before hummus) and PH (post hummus). And no, it was never about the stuff you dip into it, as I freely use my fingers to do the work (you know you do it too).
However, once the post eating bliss wore off, came the pain, discomfort and agony. And if you’re reading this blog, chances are I don’t have to go into the detail of what hummus does to you - you’re all too familiar with the symptoms. But what if I told you there is a way to make chickpeas and hummus easier on digestion? So much so that you will experience no negative symptoms. I set out to test my theory of giving chickpeas and hummus a makeover.
What makes chickpeas difficult to digest?
Chickpeas and most legumes contain phytic acid and certain sugars that are difficult for the body to break down, causing the unwanted side effects. They also contain lectins, which inhibit proper absorption of key nutrients. I found two factors that can make all the difference and those are soaking and peeling.
Peeling and soaking chickpeas
Yes, it takes a bit more time, but I’ve come to view peeling chickpeas as a rather ritualistic act, meditative even. It forces me to slow down and be present in the moment. And in our mad rushing world, a little slowing down is good, even essential for the soul.
So what I’ve done is taken uncooked chickpeas, soaked them for 12 hours, popped them in my Instant pot (or you can do it on the stove top), cooked them until soft, tossed them in a bowl of cold water and peeled them.
Silky smooth lemon garlic hummus
Not only does peeling them make them significantly easier on digestion but it creates a smooth, velvety hummus that tastes far better than anything store bought.
I like using only the basics - soaked and peeled chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, good extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and water. Everything gets tossed into a food processor and the end result is a creamy, mouthwatering hummus. if you’re anything like me, you’re going to be eating quite a bit of it right out of the food processor so get some veggies or a big spoon ready and dig in.
gut friendly lemon garlic hummus
soaking time: 12 hours
prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 14 minutes in the Instant pot or 1.5 hours on the stove top
makes: 4 cups hummus
1 lb uncooked chickpeas (we will be using 3 cups cooked)
5 tbsp runny tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp cumin plus extra
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra
3 tbsp lukewarm water
3/4 tsp salt
1 small clove garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
large soup pot
instant pot (optional)
In a large soup pot, add dry chickpeas and cover with 8 cups water (chickpeas will expand while soaking) and let soak for 12 hours or overnight.
Once soaked, discard water and rinse chickpeas. Add chickpeas back to soup pot along with 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. then reduce to a simmer for 1.5 hours
If using the Instant pot, add chickpeas along with 6 cups water. Set the timer to 14 minutes on manual. Once finished turn off Instant Pot and let it naturally depressurize.
Very carefully remove the chickpeas from either stove top or IP, give them a rinse and add them to a large bowl of cold water. Toss the chickpeas around with your hands to start loosening some of the skins.
*If you’re suffering with food sensitivity, I highly recommend peeling enough chickpeas for 3 cups. If not, you can skip the peeling part.
Next, add 3 cups peeled (or unpeeled) chickpeas, garlic, salt, lemon juice, tahini and cumin to food processor and turn it on. Add water and 1/4 cup olive oil slowly while the food processor is running. This will give the hummus and extra creamy consistency.
When finished, transfer hummus to a shallow bowl and drizzle with as much olive oil as you’d like, sprinkle with oregano a little extra cumin and a sprinkle of salt.