Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Food Solutions: Fresh Garlic Hummus

     Here's one of my family's favorite recipes! I'm calling this recipe a "food solution" because it's what I give my family when they are sick. The fresh garlic really packs a powerful punch to when we are fighting germs. And it's really incredibly healthy and tasty too! 

     I'm going to give you several ways to make the same recipe. There's the "best" way which takes more time and planning but, in my opinion, will produce the healthiest version of this recipe. However, I'm a mom, so I totally get that there are days where "time" is just not something you have to spare. Your kids are sick and you want something quick that will help it to keep from spreading through the whole family. So I'll give you some quick tips on how to make a faster version that will still get that fresh garlic in your kids, but will be a lot less time to make. 

       Let me give you a quick idea of some of the ingredients in the fully homemade version and why I chose them. First we have Chick Peas. When I have time I use my dried organic chick peas that I first soak overnight in warm water and lemon juice. After that you could use your crock pot to cook them, however I REALLY recommend a pressure cooker. My pressure cooker is an invaluable part of my kitchen and it makes my job so much easier! I can cook up my dried chick peas in under and hour and even if I forget to soak them overnight, which is ideal for removing phytic acid, there is evidence that cooking them in the pressure cooker actually reduces the phytic acid all by itself! 

      The garlic is the real star of the show here, I use 3 cloves of fresh raw garlic in this recipe and I will tell you why. Raw garlic has many healthful properties but the real one we are looking for today is its antibacterial and antiviral properties to fight illness. While my evidence is anecdotal, I can tell you that we have successfully fought many illnesses in our family without having to resort to antibiotics by using fresh raw garlic. My husband and I are both willing to swallow the garlic by the clove when we are sick, but obviously that doesn't work for kids! So this is one of my recipes I have created to help my kids get raw garlic in something they enjoy eating!

     The next important ingredient is lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice is full of vitamin C, which can help your body recover when you are sick. Fresh squeezed lemon juice is the best source of vitamin C. I found this great stainless steel jumbo lemon squeezer  which works great to easily extract ALL of the juice out of the lemon and not have you spend your valuable time fishing lemon seeds out of your recipe!

    The last two ingredients I want to tell you about are cumin and cayenne. Cumin has lots of trace nutrient in it, which are important when your body is fighting illness. Also, cumin aids in digestion, which can be slowed down when you are sick.  

Like all spices, cumin will have the most nutrients when it's fresh. I have found an excellent source for fresh cumin here. Jiva organics cumin comes as a whole seed which helps keep those nutrients locked inside until you grind them yourself (I used a coffee grinder I keep for spices to do this). I also add a little cayenne pepper. I know not everyone likes things hot and spicy, but let me give you a little encouragement to keep this spice in your recipe. Cayenne is an incredible spice, read more about it's amazing benefits here. Even a small pinch of cayenne can make your other ingredients in this recipe more effective, because cayenne helps those nutrients enter your cells more effectively as it gets your blood moving! I use a 1/2 tsp pf cayenne in this recipe, but if you are unused to cayenne or don't like a spicy flavor start with less and try to build up your tolerance. On to the recipe! 

Fresh Garlic Hummus
(note: this makes a LARGE amount of hummus, approximately 3 cups worth! My 4 kids eat this up like it's going out of style, but you could certainly cut the recipe in half if you need to!)
1 1/2 cups dried Chick Peas (soaked overnight in water and lemon juice is best)
juice of 1 Lemon
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 tsps fresh ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Cayenne (less if you must, but don't leave it out!!)
2 TBS tahini 
1 tsp. unrefined salt
Extra virgin Olive oil
Green onions for garnish

     Place your soaked Chick peas in enough water to cover them in your pressure cooker with a small amount of olive oil (this helps prevent foaming) If you don't have a pressure cooker follow a recipe like this one for your slow cooker. Set cooker on high and cook for 35 minutes, let steam release naturally. Strain chick peas from cooking liquid, but retain the liquid- you'll need it later! Place chick peas, lemon juice, garlic, ground cumin, cayenne,  and tahini in a food processor. Process ingredients on low until well combined. Add cooking liquid slowly through the top spout while still processing on low until desired consistency is reached (we like ours at a "pudding-like" consistency). You can add a small amount of Olive oil at the end to make the mix a little smoother and further help with digestion (fats help you digest grains and legumes) At this point I always taste to see if I need any additional spices. As this hummus sits the flavors will meld and get a little stronger, so don't go crazy adding additional spices, but you may find you need a little more for your personal tastes. 

       This recipe can be served with tortilla chips or crackers. My kids really love it with homemade pita bread, but that's a recipe for another time! If you absolutely don't have time to do the full recipe, you can used canned chick peas, however I personally would not use the liquid included in the can for processing. I would wash them well (removing as much of the BPA as I could) and use a chicken or vegetable broth as my liquid. I have, on occasion when I was really strapped for time, bought store bough hummus and added the raw garlic and extra lemon juice and spices. It won't be as healthful, but real life is full of times when you just can't do the "best" thing, so you do what works! Believe me, I get it! Your family will still get lots of great germs fighters in either modified recipe, so no guilt mamas! 

     I'd love to hear from you if you try this recipe yourself and what you think!! I hope it helps keep you and your family healthier this season!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

I'm a mom, not a doctor, as according to the FDA nothing on this blog is intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease.