Monday, May 7, 2012

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Do-It-Yourself Dip: Tomato Basil Hummus

Despite my baking habit, I'm actually a healthy eater. If you look past the boxes of Funfetti, you'll find fresh produce, whole grains, and natural peanut butter in my pantry. I'm all about indulging, but for everyday meals, I keep my food as unprocessed as possible. 

       My snack staple: hummus. The Middle-Eastern spread pairs well with everything from pita wedges to sliced bell peppers, and even better, is an incredible source of fiber and protein, both of which help keep you satisfied (i.e. out of the cookie jar) for hours. Problem is, store-bought hummus is still processed. It contains preservatives, and some supermarket brands even use soybean oil, a cheap substitute for traditional (and much healthier) olive oil. 

       Luckily, making homemade hummus is simple—you just need a handful of ingredients and a food processor. If the nutritional motivation isn't enough, consider the potential for flavor play: When you're preparing hummus at home, you can add anything you like! Inspired by one of my favorite warm-weather snacks—sliced Roma tomatoes with fresh basil—I added tomato paste and basil to my version of the dip. It tastes like creamy bruschetta, thus partners deliciously with either toasted pita bread or French bread.

Tomato Basil Hummus

What you need
1 can (15 oz) chickpea, drained and rinsed
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp tahini (sesame) paste
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp tomato paste
½ Tbsp dried basil

Put it all together 
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor; pulse until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary. Refrigerate for up to 1 week. 


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