One of the quickest and most satisfying snacks I can make is hummus. Seriously, I could (and sometimes do) eat hummus with a spoon. It’s just the perfect dip. Chickpeas/garbanzo beans have numerous health benefits which make them great to snack on over, say, most processed/prepackaged snacks. They’re nutrient dense, full of insoluble fiber, and are a great source of protein. The protein content, about 6-7g per 1/2 cup in the Trader Joe’s canned garbanzo beans, if you’re a herbivore or just have difficulty incorporating protein into your diet. Here are some links that rave about the greatness of garbanzo beans if you’re interested: World’s Healthiest Foods, Medical News Today, HuffPo, and Heal With Food. There are so many things you can do with chickpeas but I especially love making hummus.
There’s something great about a spicy hummus. It gives raw vegetables, sandwiches, salads, buddha bowls, and pita bread a little extra kick and flavor. Pita chips are my favorite and I could probably eat an entire bag in one sitting, with or without dip. I find that, personally, buying pita bread and cutting it into a size I like and baking them to my preferred crispiness is not only cheaper than buying chips (sometimes), but a lot more satisfying. I like them best when they’re sort of soft in the middle and crispier around the edges. I think this makes them feel more melty than crunchy which is what I prefer. There’s a restaurant we have here in the DC Metro area (I know there are some in CA as well but I don’t know where else) called Cava Grill and, I swear, they have the best pita chips. Not too crispy, not too soft. While my pita chips are not like theirs at all, they bake theirs in house and I just do not have the time, the satisfaction of spicy hummus on warm pita is all I need.
This hummus is incredibly simple. You can omit the tahini if you don’t have it and I don’t think it would make much of a difference. Before Trader Joe’s began selling tahini, it was either too difficult to find or too expensive for me to buy. You can make your own tahini (recipe from TheKitchn) but I find it’s much more time efficient for me to buy instead. Of course, tahini (sesame paste or sauce) has numerous nutritional benefits as well, including being another source of protein. I won’t bore you with the nutritional facts but here’s an article from Mind Body Green with the highlights.