Friday, January 16, 2009

Hummus! (Or "Hundus", as my little girl calls it)

Have you tried making your own hummus? It's quick and easy, healthy, and my toddler loves it!

  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Drain chickpeas (saving 1/4 cup liquid from the can).
Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor (I have a mini processor that works great!)
Add the 1/4 cup of liquid from the chickpeas.
Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

You can do variations on this recipe - the last 3 ingredients are really your choice. I don't like my hummus with too much lemon, and sometimes I don't want garlic in it at all. So be creative! You can do some quick searches on the internet - there are many variations on hummus out there!

To serve, again, be creative! I used to toast bread and put the hummus on strips, but my toddler eventually learned how to make a big mess. Then I tried sitting her on my lap and dipping pieces of crackers in the hummus and feeding her by hand. Fortunately she learned from me and will now dip oyster crackers in hummus... or, her fingers.. (and yes, that is store-bought hummus she is eating!)

This is one of those recipes that is good to keep on hand along with a jar of garbanzos and a jar of tahini, just in case you ever need it. My daughter must have said "hundus" 300 times one morning so I whipped up a quick batch!

Easy Zucchini & Summer Squash

This is a very easy meal to prepare. I generally will give my toddler a small bowl of this zucchini and then something else (like grain, pasta, etc.), for a nice, balanced meal.

I buy organic zucchinis so I feel comfortable using the skins in the recipe. I slice up a few zucchini, mixing yellow squash ("summer squash") in there as well. I usually slice them not too thin, and then quarter the slices to make good bite size pieces.

I then toss the zucchini in a small steamer that I have. I add some spices just to season a little. You can use whatever you think might taste good! Just be careful that the spices are fine enough so that they don't pose a choking hazard (something like pieces of rosemary might be too big). Also, if you use a seasoning blend (like an Italian herb grinder as shown in my photo), it might have a lot of salt in it, so just check the ingredients. And of course be sure it doesn't have too much pepper (black pepper or hot red pepper!).

I basically steam the zucchini until soggy. When my toddler was just starting on solids, I more or less minced the zucchini, but at this point I can make it a little firmer and she will eat it with a fork.

I freeze this in baby food jars or small glass bowls, and it reheats fine, although it does tend to release some more liquid from the zucchini, but I just drain the extra liquid so it isn't messy.

Ingredients required:
Summer Squash