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top secret trick to perfect hummus.

October 5, 2010

*hypothetical conversation*

momma b: “what did you do on saturday from 4:47 ‘til 5:24?”

janetha: “peeled two cans worth of garbanzo beans.”

today was incredibly hectic at work. i didn’t have much time to eat let alone take photos of anything. if i was a drinker, i would probably be drowning my stress in booze right about now.  but i’m not. instead, i am hitting the gym and then going to a baby shower tonight. for my sister in law. she’s having her baby on 10-20-10. lucky. i am such a numbers freak.

anyway, in lieu of a typical post, i thought i would pass on a trick i learned from miss eating bird food herself.  brittany, you are right on the money with this one!

let’s talk hummus. a lot of people i know hear the word hummus and are immediately repulsed.. thinking it is “hippie” or “health” food. their terms, not mine.  but really, hummus is just a fancy word for bean dip. the best bean dip in the world.


i like to make my hummus from scratch.  it is cheaper and it is like a blank canvas. you can easily make any flavor you want.  the only downside is that i could never get my hummus to be as creamy as the ones they serve at greek restaurants or as dreamy as my favorite brand, sabra.


well, thanks to brittany’s post, i  learned that the key to making your hummus super, duper creamy is to..wait for it..


remove the skins from the beans.

*ding* light bulb!  why didn’t i ever think of that?!

it was definitely time consuming, but luckily marshall helped with part of the peeling process.  it was quite easy.. and i am sure it would have been easier had i followed brittany’s advice and boiled the garbanzo beans for a couple minutes before removing the skins.

IMG_0328 IMG_0329 IMG_0331

but even without boiling them, the skin easily came right off!


*actual conversation*

janetha: “this is taking for-ev-er.”

marshall: “this is probably why restaurants charge so damn much for their delicious hummus. hand peeled beans.”

janetha: “bingo.”

i made susan’s sunflower hummus using my freshly hand peeled beans.


i cannot believe how creamy my hummus was!


this is a serious discovery, people.


i was so excited about this trick that i simply had to pass the nugget of information onto all of you.  you can thank me later.  actually, thank brittany.

penny says thanks, too.



1. do you like hummus? what is your favorite flavor? i am slightly obsessed with hummus and always have to try it if it is on the menu at a restaurant. my favorite to make at home is susan’s sunflower hummus (above), my favorite at a restaurant is plain at aristo’s in SLC or the cilantro at pita jungle in arizona. favorite packaged hummus is sabra—any flavor will do!

2. any food prep tricks you would like to share with the class? i use a pastry blender to make guacamole and to mash my bananas for banana bread.

xo. janetha g.

63 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2010 4:04 pm

    totally not patient enough to peel skins from hummus. Maybe I’d pay my niece to do it , hehe. Have your tried Peanut Butter Honey Hummus? SOmeone had a recipe out there for it and it looked divine! Perfect on graham crackers, yes!

  2. October 5, 2010 4:08 pm

    no skin eh? i really had no idea! thanks for the tip. the boyfriend and i devour sabra and have failed at our single attempt at making hummus from scratch. i’m definitely gonna try this!

  3. October 5, 2010 4:10 pm

    I still haven’t tried this trick, but I need to!

  4. October 5, 2010 4:11 pm

    YUM! That looks amazing. My secret ingredient to making my hummus is adding a little white wine!

  5. October 5, 2010 4:16 pm

    HUMMUS! Oh, how I heart thee! I love Sabra brand and like to get it at Costco and dip everything within short range into it:)

    ?uestion: What kind of pita chips are those in the first pic? They look sooo good and it makes me want to dip…baaaad!

    I guess I can’t answer your second question. I DO NOT LIKE TO COOK. My poor, poor, sweet husband. Even Rachel Ray’s “30 minute meals” are too long for me to stay in the kitchen at one time HAHA! Funny, though, because I LOVE watching other people cook. I love The Food Network.

  6. mom permalink
    October 5, 2010 4:19 pm

    Wow what a revelation! I live a spicy hummus but I don’t make my own….I like to eat yours! And you totally stole me ‘tips’ hopefully you learned them from me :) the pastry blender also works well for smooshing up berries for freezer jam mmmgood! Xoxo

  7. October 5, 2010 4:24 pm

    Yay! So glad you liked that little tip!! ;)

  8. October 5, 2010 4:36 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you! I always wondered why sabra was so creamy. Whoever doesn’t like hummus is probably fooling themselves. Also, Penny is adorable and I definitely want a dog of that breed some day!

  9. October 5, 2010 4:38 pm

    Genious! Why didn’t I ever know of this before! Yay! Can’t wait to experiment!

  10. October 5, 2010 4:58 pm

    My favourite hummus is any flavour by Sabra! I especially love the Roasted red pepper version. Oh, and the Salsa version! Any other hummus just does not compare to Sabra’s.

    Food prep tip:
    You know when you are cooking ground turkey and it just never breaks down as much as ground beef does, and just stays in those big clumps? Use a potato masher to break down the big clumps, and you’ll be left with the tiny little clumps of ground turkey that look just like ground beef. I stole that from Rachel Ray.

  11. October 5, 2010 5:11 pm

    Looks DELICIOUS (I freaked when Brittany posted ‘the secret’) :) Hard work was worth it ;) And omg I want to just hug and kiss that sweet pupper face :)

  12. October 5, 2010 5:29 pm

    LOVE hummus. I think I need to try the peeling trick. Although, my tahini is like 2 years old and I don’t know if I want to buy more. Anyway, when I was in Israel for 10 days I had hummus every day. They serve it at hotels with breakfast! But that sorta spoiled me because you can’t get better than fresh Israeli hummus.

  13. October 5, 2010 5:33 pm

    I love adding smoked paprika to my hummus and use LOTS of tahini. Enough to inspire a recent post about the magic paste. Never heard of removing the garbanzo skins before–brilliant!

    I’m long-hand and messy during most of my food prep, but one presentation tip I learned when using minced parsley: after cutting it, put it in a cheese cloth, wrap in a ‘bouquet’, douse with cold water, and then wring out all of the liquid. Repeat a couple of times for super bright green, fluffy parsley that looks amazing in tabbouleh or on top of pasta.

  14. Heather permalink
    October 5, 2010 5:34 pm

    BRILLANT!! Abso-freakin-lutely brillant!! I LOVE hummus, but after several round of homemade chunkster hummus I gave up and continued buying it at the store. My fave is Tomato & Basil Hummus from Trader Joe’s. I am so excited to peel me some chickpeas!…Omg, did I just say that?! Lol! Thanks so much for the tip!

  15. October 5, 2010 5:38 pm

    i’ve been doing that garbanzo bean trick for years!! I had a lot of middle eastern friends growing up, and a quick entertaining job for the kids to do after school on a play date was to help mom peel garbanzos. I just do it out of habit, but MAN its good! I’m a roasted red pepper hummus fan…

    Food tip: I always microwave squash for about 5 minutes before I try to cut it. It makes a soft spot that makes it easier to cut in half.

  16. October 5, 2010 5:44 pm

    What a discovery!!! Although it looks like a major PITA (haha, get it? Pain In The A**! HA! <—- so NOT that funny ;) , I will have to try that!

  17. October 5, 2010 5:56 pm

    Wow, I have to admit, the hummus does look super incredible, but I can almost guarantee I would never have the patience to actually do this. I wish I did, but who am I kidding, I would probably peel one bean and get fed up. Ugh, I’m such a short cutter with cooking. Thus why baking and me do not work out so well.

  18. October 5, 2010 6:02 pm

    Huge fan of homemade hummus here–but I like the skins. Call me weird, but I like the rougher texture. Favorite flavor? Maybe pumpkin or Goddess.

  19. October 5, 2010 6:13 pm

    I have been wanting to try that ever since I saw Brittany’s post.Sounds sooo worth it.

  20. October 5, 2010 6:15 pm

    Oh, that’s a good idea. I can never get my hummus to taste as good as a restaurant or sabra. I also like the Hannah hummus from Costco.

    I use a food processor to mash bananas too.

  21. October 5, 2010 6:19 pm

    Wow I would have never thought of that but it makes sense—thansk for sharing! I am not a patient person at all but I think I could be patient for some creamy hummus like that. BTW–how good is sabra? I’ve alwaus been an Athenos girl but after trying sabra I cannot go back. TJ’s Kalamata Olive and Three Layer Dips are among my favorites. As soon as I find tahini, I am going to make my own!

  22. October 5, 2010 6:43 pm

    Fascinating tip. I’m too lazy to do it though! I wonder if peeling the beans takes away a lot of the fiber? Maybe that’s the excuse I’m going to go with to cover up my laziness.

  23. October 5, 2010 6:55 pm

    wow i NEVER would have thought to do this. i wonder what elise will think of this hahahaha please let me know.

    i hear you on the work thing. hence why i’ve been a ghost haha

  24. October 5, 2010 7:02 pm

    oh my gosh that hummus looks so good. My like both homemade and store bought :) My favorite homemade is broccoli hut’s artichoke hummus. Favorite store bought is jalapeno cilantro from a local grocery store= amazing. Heat+hummus=winner! Hmmm tip…I use a melon baller to make my cookies round and big…not really a huge tip ;)

  25. October 5, 2010 7:22 pm

    i can just imagine some super foodie diva having it in their rider to have someone de-skin their garbonzo beans….

  26. October 5, 2010 7:26 pm

    I never even THOUGHT to peel the garbanzos! Next time I’m feeling really patient, I’m going to have to try this. I love garlicy hummus, mmm. Also, the photos of the pita chips made me crave them. :-)

  27. October 5, 2010 7:49 pm

    Dangit, I straight up gave up on making hummus at home because it was never as good as Sabra, and this just is so obvious that I should have thought of it, but of course I did not. I too shall have to become a professional bean peeler, and give this a whirl ASAP! Sabra garlic is probably my favorite flavor. YUM :)

  28. October 5, 2010 8:43 pm

    I just need you to come make me hummus because you know WHATS UP

  29. October 5, 2010 9:06 pm

    I LOVE hummus! My husband makes it a lot, and always peels the shells off of the chick peas. Like you said, a lot of work, but oh so worth it!

    Now you have me craving hummus!

  30. October 5, 2010 10:26 pm

    I definitely would have no patience for peeling the skins off those bad boys. I’d have to say I am a huge fan of roasted red pepper hummus – especially when I find them in little snack packs fit for lunches! I used to live off Sabra garlic hummus, but it literally permeates from my pores for two days whenever I eat it. Yep, gross. I just went there.

  31. October 5, 2010 10:36 pm

    First of all, my birthday is on 10/20!! So yay, for sharing my birthday with a new bundle of joy! I’m so glad you shared this secret to creamy hummus! I may try it (key word: may) if I ever feel that I have enough patience! ;)

  32. October 5, 2010 11:52 pm

    being a chef, I have a whole bag of prep tricks! I use a peeler to get artichoke hearts, I use a funnel to separate eggs. To work with raw meat without getting any of it on your hands, just slip a sandwich baggie onto each hand before digging in. You’ll have plenty of freedom of movement without having to worry about actually touching any raw meat. Also, to get grilled cheese that have a browned, crispy crust you get in restaurants, try spreading mayonnaise on the outer sides of the bread instead of butter, then cook it.

    My mom was israeli, so hummus was our butter in the house. you wannt know another secret…use fresh tahini and garbanzo bean flour.

  33. October 6, 2010 1:03 am

    instead, i am hitting the gym and then going to a baby shower tonight —damn, impressive!

    peeling garbanzo beans? ok with total respect my dear lady, you are clearly CHILDLESS! I long for enough time to take a sh*t in peace, let alone peel beans. Lol. Oh I love you. Peeling beans.

    My kitchen tricks…would running a fork lengthwise down a cucumber before chopping it so it creates pretty ridges when cut, count for anything? that’s all i got off the top of my tired head :)

  34. October 6, 2010 5:49 am

    The hummus looks great, but your next post should be about your dippers. Is that a homemade pita thing, because it looked delicious!

    I have no patience to de-skin chickpeas.

  35. October 6, 2010 5:57 am

    My Chef told me once the easiest way to remove the shells from nuts & beans is to blanch them quickly (yes, this step is crucial! :P) and then roll them around between a damp paper towel… the shells come right off! Hope that helps, it has worked well with pistachios for me in the past :)

    As for hummus… love it! I LOVE good ol’ garlic hummus, roasted red pepper is also up there!


  36. October 6, 2010 6:10 am

    You are a smart lady.

  37. October 6, 2010 6:54 am

    That explains so much! Mine always ends up kind of dry and almost grainy. Can’t wait to try this!

  38. October 6, 2010 7:08 am

    i haven’t had the time to try this, but i can’t wait to ! i’ve got two cans in my pantry as we speak and am getting excited for the weekend! :) haha.

    top 3 hummus(es?)
    1. cedar’s garlic lovers <3
    2. tribe forty spices
    3. sabra roasted red pepper


  39. October 6, 2010 8:08 am

    I still need to try this. I just don’t want to peel them! :)

    <— lazy.

  40. thedelicateplace permalink
    October 6, 2010 8:18 am

    hope your day perks up hang in there! huh…never thought about peeling the beans before. but hey i’m a texture person so it looks like i might have to bag it in and get my peel on.

  41. elise permalink
    October 6, 2010 8:25 am

    do i even need to comment on this post? i mean seriously, i think we all know im the hummus queen….now WHO are these people who dont like it!?! i just refuse to believe such a population of the human race exists. love that hippie food ;)
    i agree sabra is the sh!t but its kinda $$$$. i remember seeing brittany’s post too and thinking, well there is NO way im doing that!! hahaha. marshall had it right. no wonder they charge you in restaurants!!

  42. October 6, 2010 9:08 am

    the de-shelling of the beans is so so so smart…and it sounds like the result was well worth the work! :) my favorite hummus is eggplant hummus!!!(from Trader J’s)
    I hope you’ve been having a great week!

  43. October 6, 2010 9:18 am

    I’d never thought of removing the skins either!Such a simple concept, but I’d have never thought of it.
    Loving the other tips, too!

  44. October 6, 2010 9:46 am

    My next batch of hummus is going to be made this way for sure. I’m so excited to try it out!

  45. October 6, 2010 9:49 am

    ahh! thank you for sharing! this is definitely going to be time consuming, but totally worth it! i always hated how it never came out creamy. bring on the flavored hummus :)

  46. dmcgirl37 permalink
    October 6, 2010 10:46 am

    I’m obsessed with HUMMUS. Seriously I eat like a tub a week ;)

    Dana xo

  47. October 6, 2010 11:00 am

    Ooh! I am obsessed with hummus (usually just plain or olive) and I reallyy want to try out this “trick”! Thanks for sharing =D

  48. October 6, 2010 11:00 am

    Oooh great idea! I love reading the comments for this post too. I think there should be a cookbook out there of quick foodie tricks.

  49. October 6, 2010 11:36 am

    LOVE HUMMUS. Just had my leftover quinoa dish dressed in a HUGE scoop of the Whole Foods brand..I like it!

    But I think my fav is still the Trader Joe’s 3 layer – regular, red pepper, and cilantro. MMM cilantro + hummus!

  50. October 6, 2010 12:31 pm

    I. Love. Hummus. I ordered a hummus plate for lunch while I was on vacation. I just couldn’t pass it up. My favorite is roasted red pepper.

    Now I want hummus for dinner. THANKS. ;)

  51. atastelife permalink
    October 6, 2010 12:32 pm

    oh man. i’m going to have to try that trick.
    and i like, i mean LOVE trader joes jalapeno and cilantro hummus.
    and hummus is not a condiment. haha.

    and a trick – it’s not really a foodie trick – but if you ever have a dirty microwave – pasta sauce popping on the sides and stuff of that nature – simply microwave a bowl of white distilled vinegar until it’s boiling. let it cool a moment. dip in a washcloth and wipe the sides down. that’s it – clean microwave!!!

  52. October 6, 2010 1:42 pm

    Great tip! I’ve only tried making hummus once and it was a disaster. Now I just buy it from Trader Joe’s. Favorite flavor = olive :)

  53. October 6, 2010 2:01 pm

    Oh, so excited to try it! I’ve made hummus a few times and while it wasn’t bad, it definitely was as good as other hummus I’d had. Thanks for sharing Brittany and Janetha!
    Fit&Fab Living

  54. October 6, 2010 2:47 pm

    I love all hummus can’t get enough of the stuff! x x x

  55. October 6, 2010 5:14 pm

    holy cow i never knew they did that to make hummus!!! neat trick there! and i love your pics!

    artichokey/red pepper hummus is my fave :)

  56. October 6, 2010 5:54 pm

    ohh i like that trick! totally time consuming but sounds to be totally worth it!!! I must try that next time I make hummus! :) I also LOVED that you compared homemade hummus to a blank canvas beacuse you are toatlly right! i love making my own, it taste fresher, you know exactly whats in it and you can add whatever you like to the mix!!

    to make lemons easier to juice, pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds to get the juices flowing!

    When I want to peel garlic, I put something flat and metal on top of it (like a butter knife) and smack it hard so the skin comes right off!

  57. October 6, 2010 6:05 pm

    i really want to bath in this hummus

  58. Jenny permalink
    October 6, 2010 6:18 pm

    Have you tried Happy Monkey Hummus from the Farmers Market? She makes it fresh every week and has different flavors every week. My favorite are her Roasted Garlic and Pepper and Susasabi (it has wasabi in it~YUMMY!

    The only food tip I’ve got is for garlic. With the flat side of a knive down, I press the garlic clove until it breaks. That is a quick and easy way to peal garlic (if you don’t have one of the nifty rollers you got at the fair)

  59. October 11, 2010 1:14 pm

    I’ve actually heard of this trick and will probably never try it… because I like my hummus thick n’ chunky!! I purposely add little liquid and don’t blend that much when I make it at home. The thicker and more clumpy the better :)

    Oh, and my mom’s homemade garlicky hummus will always be my fave!

  60. MFFK permalink
    November 10, 2010 7:25 pm

    Uh, oh. I guess it’s going to be more of a shock when people find out that dry garbanzo beans are available…with no skins. (Okay, not commonly available but none-the-less…)


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