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 Post subject: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:49 pm 
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So I buy hummus still, but make it too about 50% of the time. It just never turns out as good as the store bought stuff. I have played around with the ingredients, but never left anything out, and I am thinking that the funny taste might be that all the vegan recipes use lemon juice and the store bought stuff doesn't contain that. Can you just omit that or does it play a certain role like preserving or something? I am one of those people who usually stick to a recipe closely, so I just don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:50 pm 
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you can leave out the lemon juice. you can pretty much do whatever you want with hummus. I think there are a few other tricks to making it like store bought 1. peeling the chickpeas (i'm never ever gonna do that) 2. way more oil and salt than you'd use at home.

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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:51 pm 
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i can't imagine hummus without some acid, but i think most commercial hummus uses citric acid or something like it instead of actual citrus juice, so it doesn't have that lemony flavor. you can try using cider vinegar or plain white vinegar if the lemon is turning you off.

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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:57 pm 
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I love lemon in mine, so I always use that, but ijustdiedinside is totally right - the reason it tastes so different is that they use lots more oil and salt, and maybe also a bit more tahini.

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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:11 pm 
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I think the biggest difference is fat and salt level too....

You can find citric acid in some health food stores (here in the US, at least) if you want to try that. While I like hummus with a pinch of citric acid, I personally don't think it tastes that different than a bit of lemon juice.

Do you like the flavor of the tahini you are using? It took me a while to realize that the reason I was suddenly hating the hummus I made at home was that I had an icky-tasting jar of tahini.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:15 pm 
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I think it is a few reasons, most listed by others already

-LOTS more oil and salt
-beans cooked from dried
-beans peeled
-really good, commercial grade food processor/blender

The best hommade hummus I have ever had was from someone that cooked and peeled thier own beans, used a shitton of oil, and used a really good blender. Almost equally good was from someone that used canned beans, a ton of oil and a Vitamix.

I noticed when my blender was new, my hummus was way smoother. Now that they blades have dulled, it is not as creamy/smooth.

I want a vitamix SO BAD. I really think that would take mine to the next level. For now, I settle for more of a low oil hummus that is thicker and more like a spread. I flavor it up with stuff (jalepenos, cilantro, parsley, roasted red pepper, sun dried tomatoes etc). Still not the same though.

When I have people over, I use a LOT of oil and salt, and use my blender (although it takes longer than the food processor). This gets it closer to the store bought/restaurant quality.

Stupid expensive kitchen appliances I can't afford. Meh.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:31 pm 
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yeah, my homemade hummus tastes pretty good, but it's not super smooth like the commercial stuff. i'd swoon for a vitamix but no way can i pony up the $500 to get one.

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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:19 pm 
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I noticed the quality of my hummus increase tremendously when I started using a food processor instead of a blender. And you want to emulsify your tahni & lemon juice, too. Do that before adding adding your chickpeas and everything else. Oh, and I always add quite a bit of water to my hummus. I want it to be a spread, not a paste.

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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:18 pm 
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when in doubt, more tahini

omitting lemon would be weird IMO

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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:21 pm 
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Hmmmmm, okay so lots of trial and error. I think I may be playing it safe with the oil, so maybe I should add more of that. I don't mind the texture of it as much as the taste. I am using the kitchen ninja to blend/process, but I have in the past tried a cheap food processor and cheaper blender. Hmmm, better check the tahini too, but I just bought the jar, so I can't imagine it is bad. I don't really know what it should smell or taste like. I don't like it plain, but that is not the taste I am put off by in the finished product.

At least the not-quite-right taste of the hummus didn't effect the awesomeness of the No-Queso Quesadillas I made tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:42 pm 
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We have really hard water here & when you cook beans the skins remain really tough. A little bicarb of soda in the soaking &/or cooking water really makes the skins tender. Once I over did the bicarb when I cooked some chickpeas & they went too mushy, but blended into hummus, they made the smoothest batch I've ever made. I've peeled my chickpeas before, which is sheer madness, but I was so sick of lumpy hummus with bits of skin in it. The bicarb trick is a lot easier.

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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:47 pm 
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Yes to mixing your tahini (lots of it) with the lemon juice first, you can also add some oil at that point - I've had good results with peanut oil of all things or a spoonful of VERY mild sesame seed oil. Use canned 'peas if you can't be bothered peeling them - they are milder in flavour (because they've been mass processed and soaking in that can for who knows how long) and often have a bit of extra salt.

Also, the lemon juice can be deceiving. It can taste like you have too much or smell very lemony but actually what it needs is MORE lemon to balance the flavours - odd but this is the case in my experience. If you do want to lower or cut out the lemon you could add some tartaric acid (the other half of backing powder) or, as others have mentioned, citric acid.

You might want to try making flavoured hummus - you just blend in some of the flavourings with your tahini before the 'peas go in then add the rest at the end. Sundried tomato and or olive is a staple. Or be adventurous - I've made mushroom (with antipasti mushrooms) and the aforementioned peanut oil and peanut butter hummus! The flavours will help balance and overcome any residual imbalance in your hummus base.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:20 am 
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For hummus I always cook my own chickpeas and I find the hummus tastes WAY better if I make it while the chickpeas are still hot.

I use VCON hummus recipe for plain hummus. I scrape the sides of the food processor at least 3 times and after the last time I let it run for about 5 minutes. I love garlic but I find it makes the hummus bitter as the week goes on.

Some of my favorites are from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan:

Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive
Curry Hummus with Raisins
Almond Roast Red Pepper


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:29 am 
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enmommy wrote:
Hmmmmm, okay so lots of trial and error. I think I may be playing it safe with the oil, so maybe I should add more of that. I don't mind the texture of it as much as the taste. I am using the kitchen ninja to blend/process, but I have in the past tried a cheap food processor and cheaper blender. Hmmm, better check the tahini too, but I just bought the jar, so I can't imagine it is bad. I don't really know what it should smell or taste like. I don't like it plain, but that is not the taste I am put off by in the finished product.

At least the not-quite-right taste of the hummus didn't effect the awesomeness of the No-Queso Quesadillas I made tonight.


It really is trial and error I think. It really depends on your blender/food processor.

I am also learing techniques in this thread I have not heard of and am going to try. Like mixing the tahini and lemon first! I will try that. And yes +1 to using warm chickpeas that were just cooked.

Quote:
We have really hard water here & when you cook beans the skins remain really tough. A little bicarb of soda in the soaking &/or cooking water really makes the skins tender. Once I over did the bicarb when I cooked some chickpeas & they went too mushy, but blended into hummus, they made the smoothest batch I've ever made. I've peeled my chickpeas before, which is sheer madness, but I was so sick of lumpy hummus with bits of skin in it. The bicarb trick is a lot easier.


You know, I have REALLY hard water where I live (like, it is so gross, hair never feels clean). I wonder if that might be a reason hummus is not as smooth as I like, I will try the baking soda trick next time!

I love this forum. I always get so many ideas/tips etc.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:36 am 
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I put roast garlic in mine because it's less stinky & burny!

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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:55 am 
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nickvicious wrote:
And you want to emulsify your tahni & lemon juice, too. Do that before adding adding your chickpeas and everything else.

I do this too!


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:00 pm 
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The recipe in Viva Vegan tastes closest to store bought imo; however I rarely stick to the recipe because I love to make stuff differently everytime.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:33 pm 
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Thanks ladies, I will try mixing lemon juice and tahini next time and maybe a different recipe. I noticed they are all a little different.

I made some chickpea tenders tonight and I finally see what you mean about chickpea skins. As I was mashing them, they all came off. Never noticed that before.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Last time I made hummus it came out super awesome aka smooth and creamy! I cooked my own beans which I think is key as they have such a superior taste and texture compared to canned. I used the VCON recipe but used water instead of oil and blended everything in my food processor when the beans were still warm. It turned out better than I could have expected! I'm not anti oil by any means but wanted to experiment and I'm glad I did. I added some kalamata olives and that shiitake was good! As far as the lemon juice goes I actually prefer it to the citric acid that most commercial brands use but my partner prefers the other stuff. I usually just add extra lemon juice to make up for the lost tanginess that the acid provides.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:26 pm 
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Rub your chickpeas in a clean dish towel to get a lot of skins off. You get the benefit of peeling with little actual work.

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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:43 am 
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happy jo wrote:
For hummus I always cook my own chickpeas and I find the hummus tastes WAY better if I make it while the chickpeas are still hot.



This! I find that the chickpeas become creamy much easier when you blend them while hot right after cooking. Also the hummus will be more liquidy while still hot and firm up when it cools down, which makes it easier to combine all ingredients more thoroughly.

Hummus is not as available in stores here so I don't know how storebought tastes but I really like our homemade stuff. We also like to add some of the chickpea-cooking-water to make it creamier without upping the oil content.

Also, I have noticed that some brands of canned chickpeas are not cooked all the way through and still have hard interiors. I guess those will make for less creamy hummus.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:01 am 
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helbury wrote:
Do you like the flavor of the tahini you are using? It took me a while to realize that the reason I was suddenly hating the hummus I made at home was that I had an icky-tasting jar of tahini.


This is probably a stupid question, but is Tahini supposed to taste good? I tried it, because it looks so much like peanut butter lol... and it was nothing at all like peanut butter. It didnt taste "bad"... but it was not pleasant to eat on its own. The hummus I made with it was great, but I am new to hummus so I dont know what its "supposed" to taste like...


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:33 am 
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another place to get citric acid is in an indian grocery store.

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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:24 pm 
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Dreena Burton's creamy hummus from Vive Le Vegan is my absolute fave hummus. And I know she has whole chapters of hummus in subsequent books. I think the key to hummus for me is making it in a blender - so it's light and fluffy, and well mixed.


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 Post subject: Re: homemade hummus question?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:44 am 
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what recipe are you using? there are probably a million different recipes. just play around with the basic ingredients.

i dont think you will ever get a homemade hummus that tastes like store bought but to me that is a good thing. after having religiously made my own for a long time now when i do on the occasion eat store bought hummus i find that the store bought stuff tastes weird.

this is how i make mine:

buttloads of garlic cloves (usually 4-5)
chop those up in the food processor.
add either 2 cans of drained chickpeas or the cooked bean equivalent
8 tbs lemon juice
4 tbs olive oil
3ish tbs tahini (the recipe i use would call for 4 but i find i like the olive oil better than the tahini)
salt

blend the crepe out of that and if it's too dry add either more oil, water, or lemon juice depending on my mood.

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