Hummus : a recipe ~ vegan, plastic-free, and totally yummy!

 This is my recipe for hummus - which is super easy and super yummy. Make some and keep it in your fridge for school or work lunches, morning or afternoon tea snacks, spreading onto breakfast toast, taking to a party, or dipping veggie sticks into. I make it without using any canned chickpeas (it's cheaper this way, reduces the waste of the packaging, and tastes yummier). I buy organic and Australian grown chickpeas in bulk from my health-food shop and soak them myself. It's homemade from scratch, naturally vegan and gluten-free, and plastic-free as well. But most importantly it tastes delicious and my whole family loves it!

Here's what I do:  Two days before I want to eat the hummus I put the chickpeas in a large glass jar and fill it up with water. Half-fill the jar with chickpeas because they'll swell as they soak. Twice a day I change the water, rinsing it out and refreshing it. If you skip this rinsing step then your chickpeas get a little fermenty tasting, which isn't bad but might be a bit stronger than you like. I soak more than I'll need for one batch of humous and freeze the rest ready for cooking or making more humous. I use all the water changing to water the herbs and flowers near my kitchen rather than pouring down the sink. After 2 days of soaking, rinse your chickpeas again and put into a large saucepan well covered with water. Put onto a high heat until boiling then lower temp until a gentle bubbling simmer. It generally takes less than an hour to cook until the chickpeas are nice and soft. I don't put salt in during the cooking process because I read / heard once that salt hinders the cooking and hardens the beans, but recently I read in Grown & Gathered's new book (that I bought myself for my birthday), that salt actually helps with the process of breaking down those gas-producing aspects of the beans. You can leave the pan, heat turned off, but with residual warmth in the pot to keep cooking overnight if you want.

Hummus recipe: 2 cups (approx) cooked and drained chickpeas (keep the cooking water) 1-2 teaspoons each ground cumin, coriander, paprika, sea or rock salt (finely ground) 2 Tablespoons unhulled tahini 1-2 cloves garlic a good glug of olive oil juice of 1 lemon

Blend all ingredients together in a blender or whiz mixer thing until it's as smooth as you like. It can be a bit chunkier or super smooth. If it's too dry and doesn't whiz well in the blender add the cooking juice - as much as you need until you get a lovely consistency. Add extra spices, garlic or salt as you want. You could also mix in a massive handful of fresh herbs or even spinach leaves to make green humous, or roasted beetroot to make pink humous.

Store it in the fridge in a glass jar or a metal container. It lasts a week or two, generally we eat it before this time is up. The blending part takes 10 minutes at most, and the soaking & cooking happens around other things. So all up this is a really easy recipe that can create big change in your kitchen in terms of waste, packaging and taking control over what's in your food (many dips have too many chemicals to give them longer shelf life).

Eat your humous with veggie sticks from the farmers market or these yummy crackers that we make.