By Aine Carlin | October 24, 2011

I pretty much live on Hummus at times. Not because I have to, I hasten to add, but because I seem to have a hummus affliction that appears to have no intention of going away. It’s a good thing too then that chickpeas have a long list of benefits that are vital to living a healthy vegan lifestyle, as I have a suspicion hummus will continue to be a huge part of my life.

Let’s start with protein. It’s something that most non-vegans must think people on a plant based diet must be severely lacking. Not so. In fact, I rarely think about my protein intake. What with the amount of legumes I eat, as well as tofu, nuts and other fortified foods, I get more than enough to ensure my protein quota is covered and then some.

Chickpeas happen to be a great source of protein and while I am eternally grateful for this nutritional benefit, I am more interested in the fact that they taste awesome. They’re especially awesome when ground into a smooth paste, mixed with lusciously rich (and equally nutritionally beneficial) tahini and served in a bowl, preferably with a side of crudites – my preference.

While hummus isn’t exactly expensive, the homemade variety definitely has the edge when it comes to flavor. Even when I do succumb to store-bought hummus I can’t help but liven it up with extra lemon juice and freshly ground pepper and even though this is perfectly pleasant, nothing comes close to hummus made with your own fair hands – with the help of a hand blender.

This red pepper version is one of my favorite hummus classics. The simplicity and ease with which it can be made makes it one of the most frequently-made recipes in my kitchen. Be warned though, once you’ve got the homemade hummus bug, there really is no going back!

Red Pepper Hummus Recipe

2 cups cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans (reserve liquid)
1 tablespoon tahini
1 or 2 cloves garlic
1 large roasted red pepper from a jar
Juice of 1 large lemon (more to taste)
2 tbsp reserved garbanzo bean liquid
1 teaspoon salt (preferably seasalt)
Generous grinding of black pepper


  1. Put all the ingredients into a hand blender and blitz until completely smooth.
  2. Add more lemon and seasoning to taste.
  3. Serve immediately or chill for several hours before eating – either way is good.

Photos: Aine Carlin

Aine Carlin is a vegan blogger who specializes in vegan recipes. She also has a keen interest in vegan fashion and is currently training to be a stylist where she hopes to promote cruelty free clothing and beauty. You can find more of her vegan recipes and vegan friendly fashion over at


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