I'm in one of my Mother-Earth kicks right now. I find that I waver between make everything from scratch to it's o.k. to eat convenience foods that are really not that great for you. With me it seems to be all or nothing. In fairness to me (you knew that was coming), I have been super busy this last little while. As usual I over committed myself and my role as Mother - Earth took a back seat to Mother - Not -Enough- Time - In - The - Day - To - Get -It - All - Done! In my heart of hearts I do like to know what is in the food that I am feeding my kids. It really worries me that hot dogs, a family rush staple have been proven carcinogenic. Hot dogs were my go to food when I was pushed for time. I knew that they weren't healthy, but I had no idea that they were deadly... it really makes you rethink convenience foods, doesn't it?
I have really been trying to think about the things that my kids come into contact with the last little while, both inside and out. I've begun to make my own cleaning products, and quite frankly I don't think that I would go back to the chemicals. If you missed those blogs, hit the links below.
In the tone of wanting to make things from scratch, I have been wanting to make my own hummus for some time now. Two cans of chick peas (also called garbanzo beans) have sat in my cupboard awaiting the time. I just could never find "tahina" (sesame paste) sauce. When I went shopping Sunday, I accidentally found tahina sauce. It was settled in with the olive oil and the other oils. This was the universe telling me to take a risk, make my own hummus. I purchased several more cans of chickpeas just incase this was a wild success. My Gracie loves hummus. It's not a cheap dip to buy, it usually is around $5.00 a small container. It's a healthy snack, and so I usually pick it up for her as a treat.
I searched foodnetwork.com (my go to website for recipes), looking for an easy recipe. Thank you Emeril Lagasse for the simple, yet delicious recipe, you never let me down!
My first batch of hummus was wildly successful, now I would experiment (good thing for those extra cans of chickpeas). My next batch I made the hummus recipe, but I added roasted red pepper. To roast the red pepper, I just put it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. I then placed it into a bowl of cold water. When it was cool to touch I cut it up, took out the seeds, and tossed it into the food processor, skin and all. Another hit!
My best experiment yet came was the last. It was met with huge success, and accolades (it's rare around here, so I took it). I made "pizza" hummus. I called it "pizza dip", so that it didn't sound healthy (it is a widely known fact that kids better enjoy foods if they think that they are eating crap).
For the pizza hummus I mixed....
1 540 ml can of chickpeas, 1 medium roasted red pepper,
1 156 ml can of tomato paste, 1/4 cup of olive oil,
1 clove of garlic, 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt, pepper, and about 2 tsp greek seasoning.
I mixed it all up in the food processor until it was smooth. I then mixed in about 1/2 cup of finely diced green peppers, 1/2 cup of finely chopped chives to give it some texture and a little extra taste. The total cost is approximately $2.50 for 3 cups of hummus, consider that I had been paying $5 for half of that and had no idea what preservatives they were adding (mine has none).
The taste is great, and the health benefits are also great, I did not know just how great until I did a little research into the ingredients that I put in. I then realized that this delicious "snack" was really a powerhouse for nutrition. For example, the chickpeas 220 calories per cup, in that same cup they contain 4 grams of fat, 7 grams of fiber, 6% of your daily recommended calcium, and 15% of your daily recommended iron. They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that are thought to promote a healthy heart and also help lower cholesterol and promote blood clotting.
Tomato paste is 25 calories for 2 Tablespoons. It contains 4% of your daily recommended fiber, 6 % of the daily recommended vitamin A, 2% of your daily vitamin C, 2 % daily calcium, and 4% or your iron. One clove of garlic contains 4 calories, 1% of your daily calcium, and 2% of your daily Vitamin C. The roasted red pepper for 1 medium is 38 calories. It has 3% of your daily recommended daily fiber, 79% of your daily Vitamin A, 1% of your daily calcium, 380 % of the daily Vitamin C, and 3% iron. The green pepper is 30 calories. It contains 300% of your daily recommended Vitamin C, and 22% of your recommended iron, plus 2 grams of protein. WOW.
I don't pretend to be a nutritionist, but when I added up all of those calories for the entire recipe, giving you a yield of approximately 3 cups of pizza hummus it is only 1107 calories if you ate the entire 3 cups of hummus at one sitting. If you divide that so that your serving is 1/4 of a cup of hummus it works out to only 92.25 calories ( I divided 1107 by 12, There are 12 1/4 cups to make 3 cups to get that answer if you're wondering), that's amazing in it's self but then start to add up all of the nutrients.
If you ate that whole 3 cups of hummus you would have used 1107 calories, but would have
122.2 % of your daily recommended Vitamin A, 499.4 % of your daily recommended Vitamin C, 23.9 % of your daily calcium, 64.8 % of your daily iron, 63.8 % of your daily fiber, and 22.7 grams of protein. That 1/4 cup of delicious hummus has given you 10.2 % of your daily Vitamin A, 41.6% of your Vitamin C, 2 % of your calcium, 5.4% or your iron, 5.3% of your fiber and 1.9 grams of protein. To me that makes it a power food! Consider that all of those great nutrients are for the hummus alone, just imagine if you dipped veggies or a whole wheat pita. If you compare that hummus 92.25 calories (that cost you 21 cents for that 1/4 cup) to a lean chicken breast 64.5 (chicken goes for about $4.00 a breast, so it costs you approximately $1.00 for the half cup) calories for a 1/4 diced.
Hummus (1/4 cup) Chicken Breast (1/4 Cup)
Cost $.21 $1.00
Calories 92.25 cal 64.5 cal
Protein 1.9 grams 9.57 grams
Vitamin A 41.6 % .5%
Vitamin C 41.6 0%
Calcium 2% .5%
Iron 5.4% 7%
P.S. I feel like I should share that I have been munching on said delicious dip the whole time I have been writing this.