Is Hummus Vegan?
Hummus is traditionally made with chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, salt and tahini sesame paste. It is naturally vegan and creamy and there is no need for any spurious extras like milk or cheese.
I have yet to find a shop bought hummus in the UK which isn’t suitable for vegans, but my eldest son found some with cheese hiding in it in France so I’m not giving up label reading just yet!
Of course the best way to ensure that your hummus is dairy free is to make your own!
How To Make Homemade Hummus
Fresh hummus is super simple to make with only 5 basic ingredients:
- Chickpeas: You can use dried chickpeas, soaked overnight before cooking, or canned chickpeas, both give excellent results. Use a food processor to pulse them with the lemon juice, garlic and seasoning. Add the olive oil in a slow stream until you are happy with the texture. If you don’t have a food processor use a hand held stick blender or even a potato masher if you have the muscles for it!
- Garlic: Garlic quantity is a very personal thing. I specify one clove in the recipe below because it is easy to add more but impossible to remove it once it’s in there! If you don’t like the taste of raw garlic roast it for a mellower flavour.
- Tahini: This delicious sesame paste used to be hard to find when I went veggie in my teens but it is now available in supermarkets, hoorah!
- Olive Oil: I use a light, delicately flavoured olive oil in the body of my basic every day hummus and I drizzle the finished dish with some delicious extra virgin olive oil. Fabulous!
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice full of the taste of summer sunshine is called for here.
- Seasoning: Season generously to taste with salt and pepper.
Is Homemade Hummus Better Than Shop Bought?
The short answer is yes! Fresh hummus knocks spots off the little plastic tubs you can now buy in every supermarket and corner shop. That’s not to say that I don’t buy them though, because I do! Mass produced hummus is a very useful standby in my vegan kitchen and I don’t think a week goes buy without me buying some. However freshly made hummus, whether from the deli counter or your own kitchen is much tastier!
The beauty of making your own is that you can decide how much or how little to process your chickpeas to create your preferred hummus texture. You can also add seasonings to suit your taste buds and you can add in extra flavours to really make it your own. Try ground cumin, fresh chilli or smoked paprika, introduce some sun dried tomatoes or roasted carrots – the possibilities are almost endless!
Toppings For Hummus
I topped my hummus with some toasted pine nuts, fresh thyme leaves, paprika and a generous drizzle of olive oil but you could also try:
- oven roasted chickpeas.
- toasted and crumbled walnuts, brazil nuts or almonds.
- fresh rosemary, parsley, marjoram or dill.
- a drizzle of chilli or herb oil.
More Hummus Ideas
Make something with your homemade hummus other than a dip or in a sandwich and use it as an ingredient in my Hummus and Carrot Tart! If you fancy a change from a chickpea hummus you might like my Split Pea Hummus.
- 240 g cooked chickpeas (1x 400g can, drained and rinsed)
- 1 clove garlic peeled and crushed. More to taste.
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- water to thin
- Pulse the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor or with a stick blender.
- Add oil slowly and process until combined and you are happy with the texture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add a tablespoon or two of water to thin if necessary.