Peanut butter is the go-to food in our pantry. I buy it in super-sized five-pound jars to have enough on hand for my seven children and all their friends—so there’s always something to eat whenever they’re hungry.
But when one of my kids recently refused to touch another peanut-butter sandwich, I was at a loss for what to suggest—that is, until I discovered she liked hummus. She now devours this savory spread often, with a bagel, pita triangles, whole-wheat bread, or crackers.
My peanut-butter hater isn’t the only one in the family who loves hummus. We all like it on a tortilla, dressed up with veggies, and rolled into a wrap.
Making hummus is incredibly easy. The ingredients go from the fridge to the table in about 10 minutes. You can add a little pesto, roasted red peppers—puree a few along with the other ingredients—and extra lemon juice, to kick it up a bit. Double the recipe, if you think you need extra, and store the leftover hummus in the refrigerator. One of my favorite breakfasts is hummus on whole-wheat toast, two scrambled eggs, and a large mug of coffee on the side.
Oh, and yes, I still keep peanut butter handy.
What You’ll Need
- 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
What to Do
- Slice the lemon in half.
- Show your little helper how to squeeze the juice out of the lemon directly into a small bowl. Remind her to use a spoon to remove seeds and discard them.
- Demonstrate how to measure 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, or let your child measure it. Reserve the remaining juice for later.
- Cut the garlic clove ends. Let your sous-chef peel the cloves. Help her put each clove through a garlic press.Teachable Moment: What Your Kids Don’t Know About Garlic
- Garlic was once used to treat acne, warts, and toothaches. Now experts think it wards off heart disease, cancer, colds, and flu.
- You can get rid of the smell of garlic on your hands by placing them under cold running water and rubbing a stainless-steel object at the same time.
- Ninety percent of the garlic grown in the United States comes from California. Garlic belongs to the onion family, which also includes shallots and leeks.—Topfoodfacts.com
- Open the can of chickpeas. Invite your helper to pour them into a colander. She can hold the colander under cold running water to rinse the chickpeas, then carefully pour them into the food processor once they’re drained.Teachable Moment: Cool Chickpea Facts
- The chickpea is a legume, which means it belongs to the pea family.
- India produces and exports more chickpeas than any other country. As a group, nations around the world produce 90 million tons of chickpeas yearly.
- Chickpeas grow in well-drained soil, in warm areas with lots of sun (they don’t do well in frost or heavy rainfall!). The chickpea has been around for about 7,500 years, with origins in Iran, Turkey, and Syria.
- Europeans roasted chickpeas and used them as a substitute for coffee in the 18th century, and in the 20th century during WWI.—Softschools.com
- Teach your assistant how to measure the tahini, salt, cumin, and black pepper, and then toss them into the processor. Then let her add the lemon juice and garlic, too.
- Place the lid on the processor and puree the mixture until smooth—about a minute. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the hummus into a small bowl and add more salt or lemon juice to taste. Serve with baby carrots, celery sticks, cucumber rounds, red and green pepper slices, pita bread, or whole-wheat crackers.