Snacks, snacks, snacks. We love them, am I right? And we should! Snacks are an important part of a well-balanced diet, when done right. When it comes to snacks, I have a pretty basic rule of thumb. It should have both protein and some carbohydrate (whole grain is best), and should be under 250 calories. Those who know me know that I’m a big fan of snacking regularly. Peanut butter banana sandwiches, yogurt with fresh fruit, carrots and Greek Yogurt Ranch dip, and of course, hummus paired with a variety of crunchy sides! If you’ve never tried hummus, you really should. With a texture that is both creamy and smooth, it provides a luxurious base for a variety of flavors. From plain (featured here today) to Roasted Red Pepper, hummus is a satisfying dip you can really feel good about eating. The base of hummus is an unsung hero in my book, the lowly legume: Garbanzo Beans (a.k.a., Chickpeas- both are used interchangeably)! Protein packed and full of fiber (just two of many great nutrients that legumes boast), legumes are a fantastic option if you’re looking for a tasty treat that’ll keep you satisfied until your next meal. Eaten on their own as Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, plunked into a salad, or ground into savory hummus- Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans (or as I like to call them…Chickbanzo Peans!) are a versatile, lean protein option perfect for any eating occasion. Buying hummus is an easy and delicious option, but at the rate it gets eaten in my house I decided that it would be more economical to make my own. And boy how easy! A quick blend of ingredients with a food processor and you’re snacking in no time! Start with one 15 oz. can of Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas (same can, different sides pictured below). Rinse the chickpeas under warm running water and add to the bowl of your food processor. To your chickpeas, add 3 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. minced garlic, ¼ cup Tahini (ground sesame paste, usually located in the peanut butter aisle), ½ Tbsp. canola oil, and ¼ cup lemon juice. Blend until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. (Side Note: if you have a larger food processor than a 1 ½ cup size like mine, I recommend you use it; it makes blending the ingredients a lot easier!) Snap, the hummus is done! Since that recipe is incredibly easy, I thought I would add in another simple recipe that correlates: homemade tortilla chips! Although, I’m not a big chip eater, I do like to dig into tortilla chips every once in a while…especially when guacamole and hummus are involved :). Making my chips from scratch allows me to control my ingredients (and therefore, nutrition) and lets me have this sometime snack on hand only when I really want it. Plus, it’s just so darn easy! To make these easy tortilla chips, simply stack together 5 corn tortillas (to make more than 40 chips, increase this number of shells you are starting with) and cut into 8 pieces with 4 cuts of the knife. Just like slicing a pizza. (I got a little eager and missed the photo of step 3, sorry about that!). Next, I put my tortilla shells in a bowl and lightly coated them with nonstick cooking spray and a light sprinkling of cumin (for a little heat). Arrange your chips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350⁰F for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and enjoy with your new homemade hummus.
Homemade Chips and HummusIngredients Chips (makes roughly 40 chips)
- 5 Corn Tortillas
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- Nonstick Cooking Spray
- 1 15 oz. can Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- ¼ cup Tahini
- ½ Tbsp. canola oil
- 4 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- Combine all ingredients for the hummus in a food processor. Process until smooth. Set aside.
- Stack the corn tortillas and cut into 8 pieces with 4 cuts of the knife. Lightly coat all sides of the “chips” with nonstick cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle with cumin (or desired seasoning).
Jenny Dahl is a Registered Dietitian (RD) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI.