Chickpeas are awesome as they are a source of protein and have a good iron content as well.They are such a versatile legume – sprouted chickpeas make an excellent addition to a salad and Mum makes an ace farinata using gram (chickpea) flour. Generally I use chickpeas in soups, stews, curries, tagines, falafel and of course hummus. No vegan blog is complete without a recipe for hummus :-).
I usually buy dried chickpeas and cook a large batch of them as I like the fresh nutty taste and texture which you don’t get with tinned ones. I freeze the spare chickpeas as it is always handy to have a supply in the freezer. My hummus has quite a firm texture so if you like a more runny texture just add some water (or go and buy some in a supermarket!). You can experiment with different spices and my friend Rachel makes a fab hummus with a great balance of spices. In the past I’ve substituted the chick peas for canelli beans or butterbeans which makes a nice change and I did go through a phase of making sweetpotato hummus (http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2010/10/falling-for-sweet-potato-hummus-2/)
There are lots of great ways to serve hummus you can serve it is a dip with crudities or have it as a topping on a jacket potato. My favourite accompaniment for hummus is to eat it with a whole grain like Quinoa and lots of salad
Healthy Hummus Serves 4
1 tin of chickpeas (or 125g uncooked weight – soak overnight, boil for 10 minutes and simmer for 1 hour and 10 minutes
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of tahini
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
Cayenne pepper to garnish
This is really easy to make – just whizz up all the ingredients in the food processor. Chill any leftovers – it will keep in the fridge for up to a week.