Last week I showed you how to cook beans properly to maximize nutrient absorption and eliminate the awkwardness that comes as a result of eating beans. And it seriously works! So this week I want to show you a few easy ways to use those beans that you spent so much time properly soaking and cooking. And we’re going to start with hummus.
Hummus is one of my favorite dishes. It’s so useful! Obviously you can use it as a veg dip, but you can also spread it on bread as a sandwich condiment, you can add it to mashed potatoes, mix it with some vinegar for a creamy vinaigrette. So many possibilities! The problem is it’s made with tahini, which is sesame seed paste, 0r sesame seed butter, whatever you want to call it. And often these sesame seeds are hulled and not soaked (phytic acid alert!). So, yup, you guessed it: we need to make our own.
But for interest’s sake, I tried it with walnuts and WOW, that was amazing. Of course you can use (preferably 0rganic) brown sesame seeds, but unless you have a nut allergy, just give this walnut hummus a try. Walnuts are not only high in protein and fiber like most nuts are famous for, but they also provide omega-3 fatty acids (specifically alpha-linolenic acid which helps build cell membranes in the brain, linked to reducing depression and ADHD), Vitamin E, manganese, and so many more. Why wouldn’t you want all of that awesomeness in your food? And let’s not ignore that rich, buttery, almost smoky flavor.
One cool thing is that roasting reduces phytic acid by about 40%
. And roasting nuts makes them taste better, so win-win! I like to soak them overnight and then roast them, taking a double whammy approach to reducing phytic acid, and then making a nut butter out of them to replace the tahini. What you get as a result is a super rich, creamy, nutrient-dense base to your new favorite veg dip snack. I made this for my kids and they lurved it. I often like to add spinach and herbs (for these photos I used cilantro) for a green version, and it’s like the heavens open up. Raise your hand if you love cilantro. I can’t get enough.
This is one recipe I don’t recommend doubling and freezing, but you can soak and roast your walnuts ahead and freeze just those for a few weeks. And if you already have soaked, cooked chickpeas in your freezer, you can throw this dish together any day for a quick and awesome snack. Remember, cooking nutritious food from scratch doesn’t have to take a ton of time and effort. It just takes a little planning ahead.
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1~1.5 cups warm purified water
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
- 2~4 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil
- generous pinch of fine sea salt
- water, to thin as needed
- Place the walnuts in a small bowl and cover with warm water by a couple of inches for at least 8 hours, up to 18 hours. Preheat the over to 350°F. Drain, rinse, and pat the nuts dry with a clean towel. Place the nuts on a lined baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes until they are dry, lightly browned, and fragrant.
- In the bowl of a food processor, process the garlic clove until finely minced. Scrape down the sides and add the chickpeas and lemon juice. Pulse, scraping down sides as needed, until the beans are mostly smooth. With the machine running, pour the olive oil in a slow stream. Add water to thin as needed. Season with salt to taste.
- You can substitute almost any beans for the chickpeas, and any nuts or seeds for the walnuts. Play around with flavors and textures and have fun!
- Variation: Add a generous handful of baby spinach and/or herbs (cilantro and parsley are my two favorites) into the food processor along with the chickpeas.