I’m a big hummus fan. It’s perfect for snacks and makes every sandwich better. The problem is, it can be pretty fattening when store bought, and expensive too (you don’t want to know how much money I was spending on hummus). 

When I got a food processor for Christmas, I decided to start experimenting with hummus recipes. I wanted the perfect consistency and flavor, but without all of the heavy oil and crazy calorie count. After much trial and error, I’ve finally perfected my hummus. It’s delicious, doesn’t require any olive oil (unless you want some) and it doesn’t cost much more than a can of garbanzo beans.


1 can of garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved

1/2 cup of tahini

2 tablespoons of harissa

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons paprika

1 garlic clove

olive oil for serving (optional)

So, when I first tried to make hummus, I just dumped garbanzo beans and olive oil into the food processor and blended it into a pureé. I thought that’s all it took, and was unpleasantly surprised when it came out with the consistency of dried Elmer’s glue. 

A hundred Google searches and test batches later, I discovered the secret to fluffy, perfect hummus: whipping the tahini. This ground sesame paste makes or breaks a hummus (in my opinion). The key is to get it light and fluffy. I put a half cup of tahini into my food processor, along with a 1/4 cup or so of the reserved garbanzo beans liquid. After a minute or so of processing, the liquid and the tahini whip together for a lighter consistency.

I usually mix it up a bit with my spoon and then process it for another 30 seconds after the first minute — it makes a big difference. You can also use lemon juice, or just plain ol’ water instead of the leftover garbanzo liquid.

After that, it’s just a matter of choosing your accoutrements. I’m a spicy hummus gal, so I invested in a big jar of harissa and use a few tablespoons in each batch. It adds some color, and the perfect Middle Eastern spice. I also like to add paprika for a little extra flavor. Lemon peel, herbs, garlic and kalamata olives are all great add-ins too.

I add all of my flavored items into the food processor, and dump in the drained garbanzo beans — then hit the power.

After the first couple minutes of blending, it usually looks like this. Some people like hummus this thick, but I like it SUPER whipped and fluffy, so I like to add a few more tablespoons of the garbanzo bean liquid in to make it really smooth and light. 

Another minute, and it’s perfect! The harissa makes it bright orange, which I kind of like. 

I always try to keep some pita bread in the freezer, so I warm it up in the oven (I cannot believe we haven’t had a microwave for almost 2 years now!) to get it really toasty, and serve it warm with the hummus. I usually have some carrots or cucumbers  on hand too. 

I find the hummus keeps for a week to a week and a half in a mason jar in the fridge before it starts getting a little stale.



  1. love your pictures! they look great. and the hummus looks unreal – have to try. i usually use google reader to look at blogs so i just saw your header for the first time and i LOVE it! did you draw it??

    • brunnervanessa said:

      Oh it is. Dangerous stuff, I tell you. Almost downed half the jar yesterday. And I did — it was high time for a mini blog makeover. I’d had that same header for the past 3 years haha. Thank you 🙂

    • brunnervanessa said:

      PS: I’m obsessed with your blog.

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