Frugal Gourmet: Homemade Hummus

Hummus is one of the most popular healthy foods around — so much so that grocery stores will often devote whole sections to showcasing hummus in all its many varieties. Despite its popularity, most people don't know that hummus is actually ridiculously easy to make at home. With just a handful of inexpensive ingredients, you can make your own hummus for a fraction of what you'd pay at the grocery store. Your home-packed lunches will never be the same!

Image Credit: Laura Carroll

Ingredients:

The super basics, if you’re super broke

2 cups of chickpeas, either canned or freshly cooked (for examples of ways to cook dried chickpeas, look here)

2 cloves of raw garlic (or more, if you really like garlic)

1 lemon

¼ cup olive oil (extra virgin olive oil is the tastiest)

Image Credit: Laura Carroll

The slightly fancier stuff, if you have a few extra bucks to splurge

½ cup of Tahini (sesame paste)

1 tablespoon of paprika, cumin, or other favorite spice

Supplies:

1 sharp knife

1 vegetable peeler (optional)

1 blender, immersion blender, or food processor

1 bowl for serving

Serves: Two, but can easily be scaled and freezes well

Let's do this thing

Zest the lemon, either using a knife or a vegetable peeler to remove as much of the lemon skin as you like (yellow part only, not the pith)

Cut the lemon in quarters and squeeze out the juice, removing any seeds

Peel the garlic cloves and discard the skins

Drain the chickpeas, reserve the liquid

Blend up the chickpeas, lemon juice, lemon zest, raw garlic, and olive oil into a smooth puree

If you're using tahini or spices, add those too

If the mixture seems too thick, add the reserved liquid from the chickpeas or water

Taste test

Once your hummus is smooth, use a spoon to sample it and adjust according to your taste. Does it need salt and pepper? A little more olive oil? More garlic? Add those now, and blend them in so that your flavor balance is perfect.

Once you have it just how you like it, pour your freshly made hummus into a bowl. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, sprinkle with a little bit of extra spice if you like, and enjoy!