My boys and I love low oxalate hummus on almost anything. In fact, last year when I asked what special treats they wanted to serve at their 2nd birthday party, my boys chose roasted garlic hummus and actually got upset when I suggested cake. Okay, they had never eaten cake before and actually loved the fire truck cake I made them, but we still served three types of hummus at their party complete with a veggie, cracker, pita and cheese platter (Glutino crackers have only 3.7 mg. oxalate per 8 crackers. Plus check out Chebe Bread Focaccia Flat Bread Mix for a gluten-free foccacia bread that is probably “lower medium” oxalate– note this product has not been tested).
Hummus is a Middle Eastern bean dip that is traditionally made with garbanzo beans (chick peas) and tahini (sesame seed paste – very high oxalate!) It is a nutritious, high fiber treat that provides plenty of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat, especially for the vegetarian or vegan low oxalate dieter. The easiest way to make a very satisfying, medium oxalate hummus is to leave out the tahini (and any other high oxalate ingredients) from your favorite hummus recipe. You may also lower the oxalate content of hummus by substituting yellow split peas for some or all of the garbanzo beans. The following is a basic medium oxalate hummus recipe with four variations, including one for low oxalate hummus. Have fun experimenting!
Medium Oxalate Hummus
1 ½ cup garbanzo beans, cooked* (one 15 oz. can, rinsed and drained)
juice of one lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste (try ¼ teaspoon at first)
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup water
Put about half the garbanzo beans and all the rest of the ingredients in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the rest of the garbanzo beans, blending after each addition. If you have trouble blending or the consistency seems too dry, add a little more of the magic hummus ingredient—water! I use up to a cup of water to get a smooth, creamy hummus.
Yield: Makes about 1 cup hummus (this recipe can be doubled easily)
Oxalate Note: Garbanzo beans have 8.4 mg. oxalate per ½ cup and are in the medium group. Each 1/4 cup serving of medium oxalate hummus has 6.6 mg. oxalate. You may also sprinkle your hummus with paprika (6 mg. oxalate per teaspoon), if you want it to look especially pretty for a special occasion.
*Cooking Garbanzo Beans: I strongly suggest that you buy dried garbanzo beans. Soak the beans for at least 24 hours (start in warm water and rewarm it occasionally), to activate the beans’ phytase (an enzyme that breaks down the antinutrient phytate found in beans) and to reduce the oxalate content. Make sure you throw out the soaking water! Add water to a dutch oven (twice the volume of the beans) and bring to a boil. Cook on high heat for at least ten minutes, then simmer until the beans are soft (another 1 -2 hours).
Get the Kids to Help: Kids can measure and pour the ingredients into the blender. My boys also love to take turns pushing the button to blend the hummus.
Low Oxalate Hummus: You may substitute cooked yellow split peas for some or all of the garbanzo beans in this recipe to reduce the oxalate content (follow the directions on the bag to cook your split peas). Yellow split peas have only 4.4 mg. oxalate per ½ cup, so if you use only yellow split peas in this recipe, the oxalate content of a 1/4 cup serving of hummus has 3.6 mg. oxalate. Low oxalate hummus made with split peas tends not to be as smooth or creamy as hummus made from garbanzo beans. It also has a different (yet still yummy!) taste. For me, the best compromise between oxalate content, taste and consistency is to use half chick peas and half yellow split peas (this combo has 5.1 mg. oxalate per fourth cup serving).
Roasted Garlic Hummus: For a mellower, richer garlic taste, substitute roasted garlic for the raw garlic in either the medium or low oxalate hummus recipe. The easiest way to roast garlic is to put two or three heads of garlic in a small ceramic or glass cooking dish with just enough water to submerge the heads about ¼ of the way. Cover the dish and cook the garlic in a 350-degree oven for for about an hour until the individual cloves are soft (I use the toaster oven). Let the garlic cool for at least 30 minutes, then squeeze the individual cloves out of their papery skins (it should have a consistency like toothpaste). You can also blend roasted garlic with olive oil and add it to mashed turnips, meats, eggs, or vegetables in the last minute or two of cooking. Roasted garlic and olive oil will keep for weeks, but be sure to keep it refrigerated! Unrefrigerated roasted garlic with olive oil is a fabulous breeding ground for botulism. This version of roasted garlic is modified from my recipe for roasted garlic, first published in the Low Oxalate Cookbook – Book Two.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: For an amazing taste treat, add roasted red pepper to your low oxalate hummus. The easiest way to roast a red pepper is to place the pepper on a baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven (or toaster oven) for about 20 minutes until the outer skin turns black. Let the pepper cool (30 minutes) and remove the skin. Cut the pepper in half and remove the seeds and ribs. I use about half of a medium pepper in one batch of low oxalate hummus. Refrigerate and use left-over roasted red pepper within three days.
Lemon Hummus: For a lighter, more lemony taste, increase the lemon juice to 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon and use the lower amount of garlic. You may also need to decrease the amount of water. Start with ¼ cup water and add water as necessary as you are blending to achieve the desired consistency.
Meal Planner: We eat hummus a lot for lunch or snacks in the summer and occasionally for a quick dinner. I often serve it with cheese and veggies for dipping (plus occasionally we indulge in some grains and the boys have gluten-free focaccia/pita bread or crackers IF I think I can resist that day). Right now I’m getting a lot of cucumbers and sungold cherry tomatoes from the garden. I spread hummus over cucumber slices then add half a cherry tomato on top for a fabulous low-carb summer treat. Yum! Even Cameron thinks this is pretty tasty.
Other Dieters: Low and medium oxalate hummus may also be appropriate for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, GAPs, GFCF and controlled carbohydrate diets.
Photo credit for Low Oxalate Hummus goes to La.blasco.