Summer & My Slow Cooker – Chick Pea & Almond Hummus

by Amanda McInerney on 11/02/2013

Chick peas (or garbanzo’s as they are known in other places) are one of the earliest known cultivated legumes.  They can be found in the culinary traditions of most parts of the world, including Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Mexico, and have been a feature in my kitchen for a long time.  They are really one of nature’s most wonderful convenience foods, having the added bonus of being both highly nutritious and tasty.  Chick peas are a great source of protein, zinc, folate and phosphorus, are low in fat and have a low glycaemic index and, as evidenced by the wide variety of cuisines in which they feature, are versatile.

What matters to me is that they are delicious and appeal to my picky kids.  I can sling them into salads, tagines, casseroles,  soups and  – of course – hummus with confidence, knowing that they are both nourishing and acceptable.  Up until recently I have mostly used canned chick peas.  It is just too easy to have a few tins on the pantry shelf – there they sit, all cooked and ready to go.  Of course it is more economical to soak and cook dried chick peas myself, but that generally requires a degree of planning and organisation that is missing in my make-up and lifestyle – we fly by the seat of our pants a bit in this house.

That is, until I made the happy discovery (although not rocket science, so I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before) that chick peas and other dried legumes can be cooked perfectly in the slow cooker.  Not only that, but they can then be most successfully frozen – how handy is that!  For a little over $2 I can buy a bag of Australian-grown chick peas (we are a significant world producer of these legumes) which yields about the equivalent of 4-5 cans, usually priced around the $1.50 mark.

There is no soaking with this simple method – I just tip them into a colander to rinse them and check for any manky peas, pop them into the slow cooker with a very generous pinch of salt, cover with water to 1 – 2 inches above them and cook on Low for 5-5 1/2 hours.  I then use what I need and freeze the rest.  If you need to use the frozen peas at short notice, a quick rinse under the tap and a 10 minute wait is all it will take to thaw these gorgeous, golden orbs out, making them ready for use.  Using this economical method, you are only ever 10 minutes away from my delicious Moroccan Chick Pea Salad or this heavenly variation on the traditional hummus.  My tweak adds almond paste (made by milling fresh almonds to a paste in a processor) to this traditional dish, giving it a little more depth of flavour and an extra creaminess.

 

Chick Pea & Almond Hummus
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A delicious variation on the traditional dish. I used home-made almond paste, but I suspect pre-soaking the almonds would give an even creamier result.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser/Dip
Ingredients
  • 150 gms cooked chick peas
  • ¼ cup almond paste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons (to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 2-3 Tbsp cold water (depending upon consistency required)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
Instructions
  1. Process all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add more water if a thinner consistency is preferred.
  3. Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with cumin to serve.

 

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Tandy February 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm

This is brilliant. I so seldom make beans from scratch as I forget to soak them the night before. I love the addition of almond paste to the hummus :)

Pat Machin February 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I freeze all manner of legumes but I had never thought of using the slow cooker!

I’m off to the kitchen to throw a pack in this minute!

Nisrine February 12, 2013 at 4:27 am

I love the idea of almonds in hummus. Must taste lovely.

Catherine Bedson February 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

Wonderful discovery Amanda! A slow cooker is one of those things I’ve been meaning to buy every winter but have never got around to it. Might have to make the investment this year. I love chickpeas as well..so versatile and healthy. Also love the addition of almond paste to the hummus.

InTolerant Chef February 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

What a great idea indeed! It certainly hadn’t occured to me either, and I’m definitely one of those who has a stash of tinned chickpeas and beans on my pantry shelves. Thanks for the heads up- and the lovely recipe too!

Kate February 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I have a bag of dried beans lurking !! Now I can use them – this crock pot idea is fabulous !!

Hotly Spiced February 12, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Your hummus looks amazing. I make it often but would like to try it with the almonds xx

Tania February 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

That’s a fantastic discovery. I normally cook mine in the pressure cooker but I usually manage to overcook them and they go a bit soggy. This strikes me as a much better way to avoid the sogginess factor. I also love the addition of the almond paste to the hummus. Sounds great.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 15, 2013 at 10:31 am

Hummus is such a simple, crowd pleaser. And interesting about doing the chickpeas in a slow cooker. I like my pressure cooker but from reading Tania’s comment above, perhaps the slow cooker is best for it!

Karen February 16, 2013 at 8:34 am

I would love to try this! How did you make your almond paste Amanda? Did you just grind up almonds to a paste, or did you add in other stuff too?

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul February 16, 2013 at 10:37 am

Great idea regarding the slow cooker. And I’ll echo everyone else and say the almonds sound fantastic in this.

Martine @ Chompchomp February 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

Truly one of my fav dips, so easy to make yet also so tasty. I admit I’m sometimes lazy and use canned chickpeas but nothing beats the flavour when you start from scratch.

Amanda McInerney February 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I added a little neutral-tasting oil to loosen it up a little, Karen.

celia February 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Amanda, that looks amazing! Makes me wish I hadn’t given the slow cooker away.. :)

Karen February 16, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Made it this afternoon, and it is absolutely gorgeous! I confess to being a garlic addict though, so added 2 cloves of garlic into the mix as well. The almonds certainly added something special. Thanks! I also have a freezer stocked with cooked chickpeas now too, thanks to you and our slow cooker.

My Kitchen Stories February 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm

A really lovely twist on one of my most favourite foods, hummus. Thanks for the idea of the slow cooker, its a great tip but I also fly by the seat of my pants and generally just have cans these days…

Christine @ Cooking Crusade February 17, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I absolutely love hummus but have never really made it before. However I do own a slow cooker AND a food processor, so clearly I have no excuse! This looks gorgeous!

Andrew February 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Where do you buy your chickpeas at ‘a little over $2 a bag’, and how big is the bag? All that I’m finding is prices around $6.00/kg!

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