Hummus, Tabbouleh & Baba Ganoush are three of my favorite vegetarian Mediterranean / Middle Eastern recipes. My Hummus, Tabbouleh & Baba Ganoush recipes are all light, healthy and easy to make, they are perfect on a hot summers day with my toasted pita bread recipe, and my light and healthy Mediterranean Salad recipe.
My secret to my delicious hummus recipe is that I quit adding the liquid from the chickpeas to my hummus, it doesn’t taste good and I didn’t think it was adding anything to the finished product. If you doubt this, do yourself a favor, taste a spoonful of the liquid from the chickpeas. It’s pretty gross, right? If an ingredient doesn’t taste good on its own, then why on Earth have we all been adding it to our Hummus all these years? Rather than the chickpea liquid, I puree slices of cucumber along with the chickpeas, the liquid from the cucumber thins the hummus to the proper consistency and adds great flavor to the hummus.
Why do chickpeas cause gas?
Besides flavor, this is the main reason I never use the chickpea liquid from the can when making Hummus. Beans, chickpeas, and legumes will often cause people to be a little gassy, luckily, soaking dry chickpeas or rinsing and completely cooking canned chickpeas can help reduce the problem of flatulence. Chickpeas contain a type of complex sugar called ‘oligosaccharides’. Unfortunately, humans do not have the enzyme in our bodies necessary to digest the type of complex sugar found in chickpeas. The result is that the oligosaccharides pass from the stomach into the large intestine undigested where it is consumed by bacteria causing fermentation. The byproduct of the fermentation is gas.
Undercooked chickpeas can also be a significant contributor to flatulence as well as an assortment of other digestive issues, the problem is caused by a plant lectin, phytohaemagglutinin or hemagglutinin. When making Hummus or any recipe containing chickpeas or other beans and legumes it is always wise to start with fully cooked chickpeas.
How to reduce flatulence caused by eating chickpeas?
If using canned chickpeas to make my Hummus recipe, they should always be rinsed and boiled, the liquid in the can is saturated in the complex sugars that cause gas. Therefore, rinsing canned chickpeas will remove a large percentage of the sugars that cause gas. The problem with canned beans and flatulence arises when you have canned beans that you buy specifically for the sauce, for example, BBQ Beans, Baked Beans, etc. Since you don’t want to rinse off all that flavor, the sauce is saturated in Oligosaccharides. It is a good reason to make your beans from scratch, dried beans to the rescue.
Oligosaccharides are water-soluble when you soak the chickpeas over-night some of this sugar dissolves into the water. After soaking the oligosaccharides will be in the soaking liquid rather than in the beans themselves. Pouring the liquid out through a colander and giving the chickpeas a good rinse before placing them in fresh water for cooking will remove some of this unwanted sugar and should help in reducing the gas problem.
You need to soak dry chickpeas. There are two ways to soak chickpeas, overnight and a quick soak.
- Overnight Soak: Simply place the chickpeas in a large pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water, cover and let soak at least 12 hours. When ready to cook, simply drain and rinse the chickpeas and add the cooking liquid of your choice; water, broth, stock, etc.
- Quick Soak: Place the chickpeas in a large pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover, let soak for around 3-4 hours. Same as the overnight method, when ready to cook, simply drain and rinse the chickpeas and add the cooking liquid of your choice; water, broth, stock, etc.
Researchers have determined that chickpeas soaked for 12 hours are the least likely to produce flatulence.
Here’s my Hummus recipe:
- 3 cups Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), Drained, Rinsed, Cooked (2 cans will leave a few chickpeas for garnish)
- 1 Lemon, Zest, and Juice
- 3 Tablespoons Tahini
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Crushed and Chopped
- ½ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- ½ Teaspoon Paprika
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Salt (to taste)
- 1 Cucumber, Sliced
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Dill (optional)
-Drain and rinse chickpeas, place in a small pot, cover with fresh water and boil for 30 minutes. Drain and let cool.
-Add garlic, lemon juice and zest to a food processor, puree until smooth
-Add ½ of the cucumber, chickpeas, and spices (except salt)
-Puree, begin adding slices of cucumber until you reach the desired consistency
-Add salt in small quantities, taste. Add until you get to the desired amount of salt. The taste of salt in hummus changes overnight, so you may need to add more the next day (weird, right?)
-Add fresh dill if desired, it goes really well with the cucumber (try a ½ cup of hummus with dill in it first to see if you like it)
Tabbouleh is a light vegetarian salad made of finely chopped fresh parsley, bulgar wheat, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, and mint, with a light lemon and olive oil dressing. It is a very simple recipe with only a few ingredients and only takes a few minutes of preparation. Crisp, cool and refreshing, my Tabbouleh recipe is a perfect starter or side salad great for a picnic or backyard cookout on a hot summer day.
For my Tabbouleh recipe, I don’t cook the bulgar wheat based on the package directions. Bulgar wheat is already partially cooked and then dehydrated for packaging. To reconstitute the bulgar wheat, simply soak it in the lemon dressing for at least two hours before you mix it with the other ingredients. The bulgar wheat will be perfectly al dente and will have absorbed all the great flavors in the dressing and your Tabbouleh will be more flavorful and not watered down.
Here’s my Tabbouleh recipe:
- ¼ Cup Bulgur Wheat
- ¼ Cup Lemon, Zest, and Juice
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Water
- 1 ½ Cups Fresh Parsley, Chopped
- ¼ Cup Fresh Mint, Chopped
- ¼ Cup Scallions, Sliced Thinly
- ½ Cup Tomatoes, ¼-inch Dice
- ½ Cup Cucumber, ¼-inch Dice
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
-Combine Bulgur Wheat, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and water. Let sit at room temperature at least 2 hours to soften wheat
-Combine all the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate.
-Combine the wheat mixture with the salad, mix well
-If the wheat is too dry add additional lemon juice or a small amount of water or olive oil
Baba Ganoush, a mild tart, smoky and garlicky 5-ingredient starter dish from the eastern part of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. My Baba Ganoush recipe is made with roasted eggplants, fresh lemon juice, tahini, and garlic. It’s has a terrific flavor and is super easy to make, the eggplants roasted either on the grill over an open flame or roasted in the oven. I prefer roasting it over an open flame, blackening the skin until completely charred and the flesh is creamy smooth.
Most Baba Ganoush recipes have all the ingredients pureed until perfectly smooth. It can, however, be simply mashed with a fork, leaving it with a more interesting texture. There are a lot of seeds in some eggplants, which could make it less visually appealing if not pureed in a food processor. But, since Baba Ganoush is a centuries-old recipe, it is more authentic to be mashed rather than pureed. I don’t think a few seeds are that big of a deal and I like the texture of a mashed Baba Ganoush rather than pureed.
Here’s my Baba Ganoush recipe:
- 3 Whole Egg Plants
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 3 Tablespoons Tahini
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- ½ Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- ½ Teaspoon Cumin
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Drizzle as Garnish
-Light charcoal grill
-Place whole eggplants on the grill, directly over flames, rotate every 5 minutes until completely blackened. Do not puncture, let the flames cause the skin to burst
-Remove eggplants from the grill and scrape the insides into the food processor
-Add all ingredients (except olive oil) to the food processor and puree
-Drizzle with olive oil
Thanks for visiting my Food Blog, I hope you enjoy my Hummus recipe, my Baba Ganoush recipe, and my Tabbouleh recipe! Please come back again soon! Cheers, Steven