Classic hummus is made from chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame seeds ground to a paste), garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin…and lots of olive oil. Even though olive oil is one of the more healthful fats, you can do with less of it—and you can make your own hummus using a variety of beans that provide more protein and more fiber than the classic hummus. Dana Jacobi, who has created hummus recipes for her cookbooks, including The Essential Best Foods Cookbook (Rodale), tells High Energy for Life readers how to do it…


  • 15-ounce can of great northern or navy beans
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted tahini (which has a richer flavor than raw tahini)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Rinse and drain the beans, and place them in a food processor. You can get beans in bisphenol A (BPA)-free cans, for example, from Eden Foods. Add the chopped garlic cloves, and pulse until the beans are coarsely chopped, about 30 seconds. Add fresh lemon juice, roasted tahini and ground cumin, and whirl to a purée. (If there is oil floating on top of the tahini, stir until it is blended in and the tahini resembles creamy nut butter.) While the motor runs, drizzle the extra virgin olive oil through the feeder tube. Season the hummus to taste with salt and pepper. Hummus tastes best if allowed to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or when refrigerated up to 24 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld. This recipe makes 1½ cups or 6 servings.

For some delicious variety, you can add one large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped…½ cup canned pumpkin purée and only one garlic clove…½ cup chopped scallion or chopped flat-leaf parsley with a small jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional).