Hummus (or houmous) might seem like a basic recipe, but I need to share this oil free hummus recipe with you.
I used to be anti-fat. I think a lot of people are still stuck in the mindset that fat makes you fat. Whilst fat does have more calories per gram, it actually expands in your stomach so keeps you fuller for longer. Like protein, it also helps to balance your blood sugar as it slows down the digestion of carbohydrates.
Back when I was anti-fat, I was constantly looking up oil free recipes. I pretty much always make my own hummus and it all started because I was trying to make an oil free variation. This recipe is so simple, low in saturated fat (if that’s an issue for you) and it’s still creamy and delicious. Fat gives food flavour and the tahini in this oil free hummus is a healthy, flavourful fat source.
That said, if you fancy your hummus oil free because:
- You prefer the taste
- You want to cut some calories or saturated fat
- You have run out of oil
Then this recipe is a winner. It’s also zero waste! 😉
How is hummus traditionally made?
Hummus originates from the Middle East, specifically Lebanon. It is made by blending chickpeas, tahini (which is a rich and nutty sesame seed paste), lemon juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Extra virgin olive oil is drizzled over it and you dunk pitta bread into it. Ugh, my mouth is watering as I type this.
Some people go that extra mile and remove all the skins from the chickpeas. The end result is intensely creamy since the skins are fibrous. You can do that too, if you like, but you better set aside a little extra time for the fiddly task!
How do you make oil free hummus?
Replacing the oil in hummus is easy. The oil makes it creamy and helps it blend easily. In this recipe, I use aquafaba.
Aquafaba is a magical ingredient. If you don’t already know, aquafaba is the gloopy liquid your tinned chickpeas sits in. It is an egg-white consistency and cloudy in colour.
It is water that has leeched protein during the chickpea cooking process, which is why it acts just egg whites. If you whip it, you can make fluffy stiff peaks for meringues or other baked goods, like cornbread and biscuits.
To make oil free hummus, you simply swap the oil for aquafaba. When you drain your chickpeas, catch the liquid in a bowl or jug and add a tablespoon at a time when blending.
Aquafaba does have an odd smell to it (just like ordinary eggs do) but don’t worry – the taste of your hummus will not be affected. It’ll still taste creamy and dreamy.
You could theoretically use water in your oil free hummus but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s too thin and your hummus may end up sloppy.
What is tahini?
Tahini is a sesame seed paste. Normally white sesame seeds are used, but you can find black tahini too. The sesame seeds are hulled and toasted and then ground. Their oils release and the fibres break down, creating a delicious, thick, runny paste.
Tahini is what gives the hummus its mouthwatering, signature nutty flavour. This recipe is very low in saturated fat but has healthy fats and a good amount of protein to keep you sated. It’s also a source of calcium!
Not all tahini is created equal. A good quality tahini should be runny. Tahini isn’t easy to come by in ordinary supermarkets I’ve found, with the only ones on offer being very thick and stodgy. I get mine from local ethnic food stores where you have access to deliciously runny tahini.
I would keep an eye out for a tahini like this Al Taj product.
Tahini is so versatile. I use it in this tahini and balsamic buddha bowl – I coat the nuts and seeds in a tahini and tomato puree mix and bake them. Mmm.
How long does hummus last?
This hummus will last a good 5 days in the fridge. I’ll be honest, I have eaten it beyond this, but I’ll say 5 days to be safe.
If you’re struggling to use it up, you can freeze it and thaw it when required. You can save yourself some time by making 3 or 4 batches in one go, distribute into containers and chuck in the freezer to enjoy at a later date! Yum!
What does hummus pair well with?
I like to make a batch of this at the weekend and have it with veggie sticks or crackers for a mid-morning snack at work.
It’s also a great thing to have on hand for salads. You can thin it into a salad dressing with lemon juice and water. It’s such a versatile base! It would be great on the side with my Moroccan chickpeas and buckwheat.
You can use it as a substitute for mayo in sandwiches and it’s essential for the classic falafel and hummus wrap.
To amp up the protein in a baked potato, you can dollop of a good tablespoon or so of hummus on top. I use it in my baked sweet potato with hummus and smoky beans recipe!
Buying hummus from the supermarket is convenient but for the sake of a few minutes, I think it’s totally worth making your own. It’s far fresher and you can control the flavours, customising it as you see fit. No chopping or grating needed, just chuck everything in a blender and let it rip!
Creamy Oil Free Hummus
- Food Processor
- 1x 400g tin chickpeas (drained but reserve liquid)
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice (fresh preferred but bottle is fine)
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 4 tbsp chickpea liquid (aquafaba)
- Drain your chickpeas over a bowl and reserve the liquid. Rinse the chickpeas but don't worry about drying them off.
- In a food processor, add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic cloves, cumin and paprika. Blend. It will be quite sticky and chunky.
- 1 tbsp at a time, add the reserved chickpea liquid (aquafaba) until the mixture is to your desired thickness. You might need more than than 4 tbsp - just judge it as you go!
- Decant the hummus into an airtight container. Keeps for around 7 days in the fridge or in the freezer for 1 month.