Homemade hummus with lemon pulp also needs freshly roasted cumin seeds and tahini which is a sesame paste.
We need rather less than 1g of protein per kilogram of body weight, so an average person would want around 50g each day. A 100g steak would provide 25g, 100g of chickpeas 19g and an egg 6g, for example.
100g of steak would cost around R10, but 100g of chickpeas less than R1 if you buy them by the kilo, pressure cook and freeze them for convenient use later. From a can they cost four times as much. Most families are feeling the financial pinch right now in these C-19 times so for about one tenth of the price of meat or eggs you can put the same amount of protein on the table, with zero cholesterol if that’s a bother for you.
So it comes as no surprise that chickpeas are the main source of protein around the world; along with the many other legumes too like beans, peas and lentils. Incidentally they are also the chief source of nitrogen fixation from the atmosphere which provides the element that is key to the structure of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Lightening is the other source.
There are two important differences though; chickpeas have very little flavour so you have to dickie them up with herbs and spices; lemons are commonly used too.
And secondly chickpeas are not a complete protein; they are rich in lysine, but deficient in methionine, two important essential amino acids that we cannot live without. So traditionally, vegetarians would add either a grain or a seed, which are generally rich in methionine, to their legumes. The traditional ‘stamp corn and beans’ comes to mind.
Hummus uses these principles supplying all the required essential amino acids by adding a sesame seed paste called tahini to the chickpeas, and various seasonings to make it more palatable. It is a staple in the Mediterranean, known for its healthy diet. We have at least a large tablespoon every single day, making a green salad far more interesting; about 3g of protein, and 2g of unrefined low GI carbs. Vegans would have a lot more.
Legumes are known for their satiety; they satisfy that gnawing hunger pang far more satisfactorily that a packet of chips, cookie or cola. A tablespoon of hummus at 11am also won’t send your blood glucose into orbit as those other snacks may. The coronavirus is targeting those who are pre or frankly diabetic. Staying away from refined carbs at this time is more important than ever.
So, back to homemade hummus with lemon pulp. Most recipes recommend only the juice, but then you are discarding more than half of the very important nutrients that are to be found in citrus. Use some of the zest too and then the whole fruit, but the pith is very bitter so that we do toss into the compost bin.
You can buy hummus in the supermarket; but there’s a massive ten times mark up in price; then it is twice as much as steak. It costs around R15 to make a whole kilogram of your own homemade hummus.
Next week we will go into the details of how to do it exactly, but start by getting a bottle of tahini from a Greek shop, a packet of dried chickpeas and whole cumin seeds from an Indian store and a bottle of olive oil and some lemons or limes. About R200 will make roughly 3kg of delicious homemade hummus, with a lot of the olive oil and tahini left over; enough for months. It takes just five minutes once you are in the groove; what we call slow food, made fast. Marvellous cheap protein, good for us, and good for the planet. Legumes suck up the greenhouse gases, not produce them as animal protein does.
Homemade hummus with lemon pulp means first soaking, rinsing and pressure-cooking the chickpeas.
Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself, your family and friends, and Mother Earth for future generations. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books!
Here are the back issues.
Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie; or, better still, a Facebook or Twitter tick would help.
56 Groenekloof Rd,