Prepping the dried chickpea component of hummus with baking soda makes the difference between a creamy and chunky dip. Baking soda combined with water speeds up the softening process of chickpeas by removing the outer layer of skin. This results in the chickpeas cooking down faster and pureeing smoother for hummus. A shorter cooking time also helps to preserve the nutrient value of the legumes, so you can enjoy the flavor, consistency and health benefits of vegan-friendly and gluten-free Middle Eastern hummus with every dip.
Spread dried chickpeas on a paper towel or plate and discard any that appear damaged. Pour the chickpeas into a colander and rinse them with cold water.
Pour the drained chickpeas into a bowl and submerge them in cold water and baking soda. Use 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for each pound of dried chickpeas. Stir the mixture. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight for increased softness.
Remove the chickpeas from the refrigerator and remove any outer skins that have surfaced with a spoon. Pour the chickpeas in the colander and rinse them with cold water.
Pour the chickpeas into a slow cooker or saucepan and add 3 cups of water per 1 cup of chickpeas. Cover and slow-cook the chickpeas on high heat for eight hours or bring them to a boil in the saucepan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes.
Pour the cooked chickpeas into a colander, rinse with cold water and drain. Allow them to cool.
Place the chickpeas in the food processor along with minced garlic and salt, according to your recipe. Puree the mixture, stopping and scraping the sides of the processor with a spatula as needed.
Squeeze in lemon juice and water, according to your recipe, then puree. Add the tahini and puree again.
Drizzle in olive oil as the food processor is blending to emulsify the hummus until it reaches the desired creamy texture.
Pour the hummus into a bowl and garnish with spices, such as paprika and cumin, or pine nuts, roasted peppers or pesto.