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Here’s your fun fact for the day: hummus is Arabic for “chickpea”.  I know you were always wondering, so you’re welcome.
As you may have guessed from my previous posts, I adore Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.  My mother’s roots are Middle Eastern, so dishes like hummus, tabouleh and stuffed vine leaves have been staples in my diet all my life.  Hummus is traditionally made with tahini which is sesame seed butter but I find that too much tahini makes hummus taste bitter.  The secret to great hummus, in my humble opinion, is adding… hemp hearts!  And lots of cumin.  Hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds) have a delicious nutty and slightly sweet taste that goes great in hummus.
The combination of chickpeas plus sesame (tahini) makes hummus a complete protein and hemp hearts (a complete protein on their own) adds important Omega 3 fatty acids as well as other health benefits. While hemp hearts are my “secret” hummus ingredient, I’d say that the real secret to great hummus is experimenting with the ingredient amounts, since it contains many strong flavours, to see what makes a great hummus for your taste: Lots of garlic? Lots of lemon? No cumin at all?  Try and see.
I can’t take credit for the idea of adding hemp hearts to hummus, the tip came from my mother, though the recipe below is my own after lots of tweaking.
I’ve provided two measurements: one for using an entire can of chickpeas (for when you’re making dip for a party) and one that uses 1 cup of cooked chickpeas (for when you’re making a few sandwiches).

Sarina’s Hummus

Small serving
1 cup cooked chickpeas (if using chickpeas from a can, rinse and drain)
1-2 cloves garlic minced
1/8 cup tahini
1/8 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
1/8 cup hemp hearts
1/8 cup filtered water
1/4-1/2 tsp cumin (to taste)
Herbamare seasoning or sea salt to taste
olive oil and about 1 tbsp of chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Large serving (using one large can of chickpeas)
One 540 ml can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
1/3 cup hemp hearts
1/3 cup filtered water
1/2 – 1 tsp cumin (to taste)
Herbamare seasoning or sea salt to taste
olive oil and about 1/2 tbsp of chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a food processor until well blended and creamy.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  For serving as a dip, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley.  Many hummus recipes blend the olive oil into the dressing; I like using the oil the traditional way, drizzled on top.  You could also garnish with some toasted pine nuts or chopped olives.  Serve with pita chips or crackers.  I love hummus with my Nacho Crackers; click here for the recipe.
A cute way to serve hummus as a party appetizer or to kids is a dollop in a shot glass with veggie sticks.  The credit for the preparation of these in the photo go to my sister.

There is no sandwich I love better in summer than hummus with fresh tomatoes and other veggies fresh from the garden.  Not like you really need a recipe to figure out how to put it together, but here it is anyway:

Hummus Summer Sandwich
two slices of your favourite bread
Sarina’s Hummus (recipe above)
fresh tomatoes slices
your favourite fresh greens– I like to use basil, baby spinach, cucumber and sprouts
sweet onion slices
a few sprinkles of black pepper on the tomato

Assemble and enjoy immediately!
Update: I am submitting my hummus to the blog hops Wellness Weekends, Allergy-Friendly Fridays, Healthy Vegan Fridays & Gluten Free Fridays Check out the link up party for a collection of delicious recipes.