Making hummus is one of those things that you do once and kick yourself for not doing it sooner. Homemade hummus is cheap and easy. Store bought hummus is tasty, but expensive. My family especially loves the creamy kind which seems to be the most expensive version at the store. I started out making hummus with canned garbanzo beans aka chick peas, but then I quickly realized how cheap dried beans were. I think I got this 1 lb bag on sale for $2! Using dried does require the extra step of soaking them in water overnight and cooking them. Those are both tasks I just take care of while I'm already in the kitchen. They sit on my counter or stovetop (while it's off) overnight and then I cook them while I'm cooking something else. The directions for cooking them are right on the bag.
Dump beans in a pot, removing anything that doesn't look like a bean
Fill pot with water to cover the beans, let soak for 8-12 hours (more isn't going to hurt anything)
Drain water off and refill with fresh water to cook, cover pot
Bring water and beans to a boil and let simmer for up to an hour. (They need to be soft, but they don't need to be mushy.)
Drain in a colander and you are ready to make hummus
These are the ingredients you'll need to gather. The full recipe is below, but it can be adapted to suit your family. My kids and I REALLY like garlic, so I use a ton. You could add cayenne pepper, olives, more lemon, roasted red pepper, pine nuts, anything you can think of.
1 lb dried garbanzo beans rehydrated as stated above (see bottom of post if you want to use canned beans)
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 head of garlic
2 tsp salt
3/4 -1 cup olive oil
Put all ingredients except olive oil into a food processor. I tried this once before with a blender and it really doesn't work since it all gets stuck, but if you are patient (remember I'm not) you could make it work. You just need to keep opening the top and mixing the beans up inside the blender. At first the mixture will look like this...
...not so yummy. While you are running the food processor, open the little hole at the top and stream in the oil. This will result in the creamy texture of delicious hummus. Depending on how you like your consistency (and how cooked your beans were), you will use more or less oil.
When it's finally done, you need to have a little taste to figure out if it needs more salt, lemon, oil, etc to suit your family's preferences. This is where a little helper comes in handy. The 1 lb bag of beans makes a lot of hummus, so I put it in small plastic containers and freeze the extra batches. When you take it out of the freezer, you may need to stir it a bit and possibly add more olive oil, but it tastes just as wonderful as an unfrozen batch. We like ours on crackers, carrot sticks, homemade pita bread or chips, and pretzels.