At my raw food workshop today, I was asked a few times if I had a good recipe for raw hummus. The answer was yes. I’d found one recently online on seriouseats.com so my thanks go to Kumiko Mitarai for the recipe.
This is a Raw Chickpea Hummus served with my raw tortilla chips.
It’s quick easy to make – once you’ve got organised to sprout the chick peas, so you do need to plan a few days ahead.
A recent newsletter from the Hippocrates Health Institute reminded us of the amazing health benefits of sprouts:
According to Dr. Edward Howell who literally wrote the book on enzymes called “Enzyme Nutrition”, sprouts have up to 100 times the enzymes of even raw foods!
They are literally bursting with life! Together with grazing at the allotment, this is the perfect way to eat the absolutely freshest living food.
If you can’t use all the sprouts right away when they’re ready, you can rinse and drain them and store them in the fridge for a couple of days. Then re-rinse them before you start creating your recipe.
Mung beans are really easy to sprout and I would say you’re guaranteed success. They’re quick (2-3 days in warmish weather), they’re tasty and they have a satisfying crunch.
Alfalfa is surprisingly challenging to sprout. For such a tiny and delicate looking sprout, it’s very, very slow. It takes around 7 days to grow to the useable size. And for some reason, alfalfa is prone to going mouldy during the sprouting process. For this reason I don’t bother growing it myself but go to the greengrocer or health food shop and buy a punnet from the professionals (such as Aconbury Sprouts).
Chick Peas – I have found that 1 cup of dry chick peas yields 3 cups volume when they’re sprouted, so they’re a cost effective ingredient. This raw hummus recipe uses 2 cups. You can use the remaining 1 cup in raw falafel or simply as sprouts sprinkled on your salad.
Sprouting mixes from the health food shop
Basically, you can sprout any dried bean, pea or seed so long as it hasn’t been heat treated or is too old and is past it.
My favourite sprouting jar is tall and has a wire mesh screen on the lid (see photo above) so it’s really easy to drain the sprouts as the water flows out easily. I‘ve had my jar for a few years and no longer remember the make, but I’ve found this one from UK Juicers. It has the same stainless mesh screen although it’s not quite as tall. A larger volume jar is useful with chick peas as they do swell up a lot.
I find the more commonly available sprouter by BioSnacky to be less user friendly. It’s smaller for a start, and the plastic mesh lid is slow to drain. Its advantage is the plastic stand integrated in the lid so you can leave the jar tilted on your draining board (but if the water poured out more quickly you wouldn’t need this!).
Another way to make a sprouter is to cover a jar with a piece of muslin and secure it with a rubber band. This is where I started out – so my preferred jar is simply a more robust and easier to use version of this.
Or you can use a nut milk bag (a nylon mesh bag – so a jelly straining bag from the jam-making section in your hardware store will also do), which makes the draining operation very easy. I like easy.
So here’s the great recipe for raw hummus:
Put everything except the oil and salt in the food processor and blitz
Drizzle the oil through the feed tube while the food processor is running*
Add salt to taste
*I failed to follow the recipe instructions and threw everything into the blender jug before whizzing and it came out just fine. Except that I had forgotten to add the garlic! It’s a vital ingredient so I quickly noticed and mashed some in.
If you don’t have a food processor or blender, I reckon a stick blender will do the job.
Serve the hummus on the side of your salad with raw crackers. Or with raw falafel – check out my ‘middle eastern lunch’ in the photo. How about spreading your cracker with tapenade before you add the hummus? Extra yumminess where the salty black olives balance the mild creamy hummus.
My personal favourite with hummus is to sprinkle on smoked paprika or chipotle chilli for a tasty little kick and a visual treat (for we eat with our eyes before the food reaches our tongue). Alternatively you could drizzle with olive oil or chilli oil.
The hummus will keep in the fridge in a Tupperware box for a few days. I found that the exposed edges discoloured very slightly but this didn’t affect the taste and disappeared easily when I mixed it in.
This post has been updated 22 April 2015