Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coffee Cake Hummus

I had the realization this afternoon that chickpeas are probably so-called because they resemble tiny roasted chickens after they have soaked. See?

Have you ever made this connection? I haven't until today and my mind is still reeling.

Ok, so in honor of my discovery, I'm going to throw at you an experiment. This experiment is titled Coffee Cake Hummus. Traditionally, hummus is made from pureed chickpeas and a paste made from sesame seeds called tahini. Usually, it's flavored with savory spices and you see combos of pre-packaged hummus flavored with things like roasted red pepper or lemon garlic. You don't see sweet hummus, though. Which I have always thought kind of weird, because chickpeas and other light-colored beans are pretty flavor neutral. Mixed with peanut, almond or cashew butter, you'd have a pretty solid base for almost any mix-in. 

I researched dessert hummuses and discovered a sort of cottage industry of food bloggers inventing their own nut-based hummus recipes. The recipe I'm modifying today is Chocolate Covered Katie's recipe for Snickerdoodle Dip. There are no major complaints with her recipe as is, except I'm not going to use canned beans (which means less salt), I'm going to tweak a few basic ingredients and I'm going to omit baking soda (the extra sodium doesn't seem to be necessary).

In order to make this recipe, I strongly recommend buying a package of dried chickpeas and soaking them ahead of time. A bag of dried garbanzo beans costs $1.29 here in Somerville and makes about 5-6 cups prepared (or the equivalent of 3 cans).

Cover them with water overnight in a bowl in your fridge. They will pretty much triple in size as they rehydrate, so make sure you leave lots of room and use lots of water--more than you think they can use. Then rinse them off, covering them with fresh water in a large stock pot. Then boil according to the directions on the back of the bag (Or until they're tender. This isn't rocket science.) 

Coffee Cake Hummus

3 cups of prepared beans
1 half of a small apple, diced (or use 1 tbs. applesauce)
3 tbs. cashew butter (or peanut butter. Or almond butter. It all tastes fine.)
1/2 to 3/4 cup amber honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
3 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

Basically, you dump all of this in a food processor and blend. I don't have a food processor. I have a food-processor-like attachment that came with my blender. It works fine. Me being single, I don't have the fancy-ass kitchen equipment people give you when you get married that ends up on top of the kitchen cabinets alongside the crepe-maker and the fondue set you registered for during your pre-matrimonial powertrip. Yeah, you know who you are. Or at least I know who you are.

I'd take a picture of this, but it's not photogenic. It's brown. Whatever.

You eat this with apple slices. And your fingers. I promise to keep working with this base recipe. It's good now and a lot better for you compared to, say, eating frosting out of a can. It's like high-fiber nature frosting you eat out of a blender, which I console myself is better than that incipient drinking problem that creeps up behind me every few weeks and whispers, "'sup?" 

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