Tuesday, May 15, 2012

sesame free hummus

The top 8 food allergens:  dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, wheat, and soy.  You may notice that sesame is not on there (I have a feeling though, that it might be #9).  Two of my favorite people in the world suffer from a sesame allergy, which is why I have decided to use this recipe to recognize Food Allergy Awareness Week.

This recipe was given to me as a gift by my dear friend and one of my favorite people in the world (as mentioned above), Lina; a fabulous cook who makes me look like a hack.

I have never made hummus before, and it has been almost a year since I've eaten it.  The last time we had it, I had given some to my son, who devoured 3 tablespoons before his blood pressure dropped; he became instantly clammy, ghostly white, as cold as if he had an ice pack on his face, and listless.  That was definitely an epipen situation, but since I had never used one before, I hesitated.  I was terrified.  A drop in blood pressure like that can send your body into shock.  But the definition of anaphylaxis is having more than one body system react at the same time.  Blood pressure drop and vomiting, for example.  Hives and a swollen tongue.  Rash and difficulty breathing.  Because he only had one system at play, I gave him benadryl instead, which fortunately did the trick.

But with allergies, there are two reactions that can cause death even on their own.  Blood pressure drop and respiratory distress.  The doctor will tell you, "if in doubt, give the epipen."  And you will answer, "well, of COURSE I will give him the epipen, that's a no brainer!"  But when looking face down at a possible anaphylactic reaction, a funny thing happens.  You panic.  And you resist.  And deny.  And doubt.  And fear.  And bargain...  But when it happens again, you know what to do.  And you don't hesitate.

Wow, I didn't mean to overshadow this fabulous hummus with a big, dark cloud!  Let's get back to the food, shall we....

Cooking and baking dairy free isn't actually difficult at all.  There are many different substitutions and they are so varied, I don't miss dairy even slightly.  But sesame?  It is such a specialized food.  If you can't eat it, you just don't add it.  But sesame oil is one of my favorite things of all time.  Mixed with soy sauce, I could drink it straight.  Alas, I still haven't found an equal substitution for sesame oil.  (All suggestions are welcome!)

But tahini?  No problem!  

Sesame free hummus

1 can chick peas, drain and set aside the liquid
1 lemon squeezed (can adjust to taste)
2 cloves of garlic (can adjust to taste)
1/4 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 tbs creamy, all natural almond butter
pinch of salt and pepper

Put all ingredients except for olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth.  If mixture is lumpy or thick, gradually add the reserved liquid 1tbs at a time until you get a smooth and thick puree.

With the motor running, open the vegetable shoot at the top of the food processor and slowly add in the olive oil.  Let the food processor run for another 3-4 minutes.

Plate and garnish with a little olive oil and some chopped parsley.


  1. Wow looks very good. I have never thought about using almond butter in hummus...great idea.You have a great blog too:)


  2. Thank you so much, Nina! I would love to take credit for the almond butter substitution, but alas, it was my friend's genius...

  3. I love my hummus with a side of information! Thanks for sharing both. Ground pine nuts work really well, too.

  4. Thanks for the tip Elizabeth! I think I'll have to try that. I might toast the pine nuts first though. I'm kind of a sucker for toasted pine nuts....

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