Let Them Eat Hummus: Six Tips for Homemade Hummus Success

Sometimes, it’s the simplest food that proves the most challenging. I say this in recollection of my first few attempts at homemade hummus. The mixes were either far too thin—soupy bowls of blended chickpeas, none to appealing—or they were too thick and coarse, resembling pasty refried beans. Sometimes I used too much garlic, in which case I’d “repeat” the hummus all day (to use my mother’s very demure phrasing), and sometimes I overdid it on the lemon, which caused even this lemon-loving woman of Mediterranean origin to pucker her lips. Most frequently, I went overboard on the cumin, which would drown out all other flavors in whatever dish I was eating. In short, there was some trial and error involved.

The main challenge I faced in perfecting my hummus was a texture challenge: how to replicate that perfectly-thick-but-not-pasty texture I was used to from storebought brands? How could I make mine as creamy?

As it turns out, a few simple tricks of the trade helped me to master the art of homemade hummus. After that, the whole process became a cinch, and now making hummus comes as naturally to me as




Read my top six tips for perfect homemade hummus, find out why I think that hummus in general is so versatile/life-saving/easy/nutritious/amazing, and get my new and improved recipe for spring pea hummus, over at Food 52 today.

Just look at how beautiful this stuff is!


It always surprises me that more folks don’t make hummus from scratch, but when I remember my own missteps, I realize how daunting it can be. If you love the stuff from the grocery store, you’ll love the process, too. Head on over to Food 52 and check out the how to and the recipe!

I’m writing this post slightly tired; my power and internet are still acting up, so I’ve spent the last three nights at friends’ houses, working and coming home later than I should in order to get 6 hours of sleep. So tonight, my fingers are crossed for power and wireless. Wish me luck!


All photos in this post are courtesy of James Ransom and Food 52.


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Categories: Nutrition and Wellness, Uncategorized
Ingredients: Chickpeas

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  1. Hello! I understand this is sort of off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does running a well-established blog like yours take a massive amount work?
    I’m brand new to blogging but I do write in my journal on a daily basis.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and
    views online. Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips
    for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  2. Gena,

    I didn’t know that hummus was so easy to make. Thanks for the encouragement and letting us know that it isn’t as hard as many of us think.

    Good luck with the internet and power…hope all gets settled soon.


    ~Garret (Juicing Blogger @ Juicingpedia)

  3. It’s like the stars aligned and you posted this. I have been asking myself all WEEK, what have I done wrong?? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  4. Lovely! I’ve been reading you for such a long time that when I saw your Food 52 post plugged on The Hairpin I thought I’d mention this. They describe you as a “mostly vegan” writer; I think because it reads that you eat “a mostly raw, vegan diet.” A mix-up of adjectival distribution that sadly obscures your philosophy 🙁 I hope they fix it.

    • Aw, thank you, Amanda. Those kinds of language distinctions do indeed mean a lot to me, so I commented to clarify 🙂 I appreciate your catching this for me. xo

  5. Gena these are some of your best photos ever! Love them…so pretty!

    And hummus making isn’t something I think too much of these days but once upon a time, I used to measure things more carefully. Now…it’s just sort of add it all in and turn on the Vita 🙂

  6. I’ve read the warm beans trick in many places but I’m still not sold on it. I believe it helps, but then you have warm hummus, which makes it must harder to adjust taste. Just like seasoning a stew, you season it when it’s hot because that’s how you plan to serve it; when you try cold stew the flavors just aren’t as pronounced.

    Either way hummus still rocks and your tips are awesome. Another great tip would be to write down your recipes so that when you strike the one that works best for you you don’t forget it! 😀

  7. Thank you for posting this, as a few nasty hummus-making attempts have turned me to buying from restaurants mostly (I prefer this way because at least I’m giving kudos to local restaurant owners who, let’s face it, do it far better than I). This is great timing, though, because I’m almost ready to make another tempt… I think you may have helped to expedite the process!

    And about hummus being a food group for vegans: I had a very disappointing experience at a swanky rooftop restaurant (a place I find myself often… just kidding), and I asked about their hummus and what it was served with, and the waitress tells me the hummus itself is made with PARMESAN CHEESE. Now, in my non-vegan days this would have sounded fantastic, but in this case, this restaurant had obliterated one of my favorite go-to vegan (restaurant) foods, as well as the only vegan option on the menu (without taking cheese off salads and asking several questions about their other items).

    Anyway, I don’t comment often, but thanks for this post and many others–I read everyday you post, and browse often on those rare days when you don’t!

    • Thanks Colleen!

      The brand they have on campus is, sadly, not vegan. There’s feta in it…lord knows why. So I agree, but most of the stuff is vegan!


  8. Hi Gena ! Get some rest ! Today I feel like I have to write a comment; praise would be a better suited word!

    Gena, I read many vegan/raw food blogs in various languages. Your recipes may not be the most eccentric and complicated ones, your photographs might not be the most sophisticated or elaborate ones, but CR is, by far, my favorite blog.

    Because your recipes are true. Those recipes can be made any day, they are filling and nutritious AND delicious. I often marvel at the recipes/photographs in other blogs, because they seem so out of this world, but your recipes are grounded and those are the only recipes I try, succeed at making and loves to eat in real life.

    Your enlightened writing wraps everything up and each day, I am truly happy to read your post. I feel connected to you because your food is my food, your stories resemble mine, your thoughts about life as a vegan echo mine, in a much more mature way: you help me grow as a vegan and feel serene about my life choices.

    Well, then, lots of love from a dedicated French reader 😉

  9. Great tips! Especially using warm beans… I love hearing new tricks to making staple foods yummier 🙂 I’m definitely not afraid to use a good amount of tahini, oil and garlic… I usually go easy on the lemon, I’m not a fan of mine being too tart.

  10. Sorry about your internet troubles. It’s funny how the slightest glitch in technology can cause so much hair-pulling, frustration, & sometimes tears!

    Hummus is one of those foods that everyone should know how to make. Super easy, but I agree, sometimes it takes a few practice rounds to get it down. A little too much lemon juice or not enough salt is enough to ruin anyone’s hummus.

    (Beautiful pics, btw!)