Zesty Cilantro Lovers Hummus: It Might Surprise You!

Zesty Cilantro Lovers Hummus

How do you feel about cilantro? If you’re a “cilantro hater,” you are in fine company, according to this article. And you needn’t feel that narrow tastebuds are to blame: the article suggests that genetics and biochemistry may have something to do with it. I myself am a lot like the doctor described in the article: I was a self-professed cilantro hater until I started flirting with raw food, and expanding my limited palate. I started eating cilantro more often, and eventually it stopped tasting like soap. Nowadays, I put it in many of my recipes.

Recently, in New Orleans, Chloe purchased some cilantro hummus from her farmers’ market. It was tangy, fresh, and absolutely addictive! We went through a container in record speed. This week, when I saw cilantro at the market during my shopping rounds, I knew it was time to recreate the hummus at home, using that most controversial of green herbs.

If you hate cilantro, I invite you to use dill, parsley, basil, or any other fresh green herb in the recipe! I won’t be hurt, just so long as you get a heaping helping of fresh, nutrient-dense legumes into your day. Besides, with tons of fresh lemon, creamy tahini, and cumin, the hummus is a winner in its own right.

And who knows? This may be the dish that turns cilantro haters into cilantro lovers!


Zesty Cilantro *Lovers* Hummus (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 6

2 cups cooked chickpeas
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 tsp salt (you may want to use less if you use canned chickpeas that are pre-salted)
1 tsp cumin
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
6 tbsp water

High speed blender instructions: Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender, using the tamp attachment to keep everything moving.

Food processor instructions: Pulse chickpeas, lemon, tahini, salt, and cumin together. Process, adding water in a thin stream (you may want to use less than 6 tbsp, depending on what sort of texture you’d like). At the end, add the cilantro and pulse well, until it’s totally broken down.

Usually, I prefer a processor for making hummus, but I like to blend the cilantro in completely for this recipe, so it’s one of the few hummus dishes that I’ve made in the Vitamix instead. Either method will work; if you use the processor, be patient and process well!

The nice think about Vitamix hummus is that super smooth texture:



The bad thing is losing hummus to the bottom of the blender, and being tempted to slice off a finger in an attempt to scoop out every last bit! Winking smile

Hope you guys give cilantro a chance with this tasty new hummus recipe. As always, add garlic if you wish!

Before I go: thanks for so many sweet comments on the mother/daughter posts I’ve been writing in the last few days. One of my readers asked a very good question: is there ever any strain between my Mom and I due to my ED history? Is she ever uncomfortable with my vegan diet?

I’m fortunate and happy to say no. My mother was definitely nervous at first, but I think she saw quite clearly that eating as an omnivore, then a lacto ovo vegetarian (the diets under which I “recovered” the first and second time) had done nothing to give me a lasting, joyous, and healthy relationship with food. I’d gained weight back, but I wasn’t happy, and anyone who was close to me at the time could see that my relationship with food was far from healed.

After I’d been vegan for some time, my mom became fond of the expression “can’t argue with success.” As an omnivore and vegetarian, I’d been constantly tortured by food and dieting, and I suffered terribly from IBS-C. I was also frequently anemic (all through my teens and twenties; anemia seems to run in the family for women) and prone to respiratory infections.

As a vegan, I’ve watched my anemia disappear, my IBS heal, my immunity soar, and—most of all—I have made peace with the food on my plate. I don’t have a single memory of eating between the ages of 11 and 24 that was not shadowed by guilt, shame, anxiety, or subsequent stress. Not one. Isn’t that sad? Thank goodness I’ve made up for those years by having such a wonderful and joyous relationship with food in the last six. I eat with pleasure, and I don’t spend my days arranging elaborate systems and trade offs and ways to monitor myself the way I once did.

Veganism restored my whole health—body and spirit. My mom knows that, and she’s grateful for it, even if veganism isn’t her own personal choice. It hasn’t always been an easy conversation, and certainly my Mom still worries about me; she’s the first to notice if I lose weight from stress, or if I seem to lose my appetite at random. But for the most part, again, she can’t argue with success, and neither can I.

Have a great night, friends!


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Categories: Hummus
Ingredients: Chickpeas
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Vegan

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  1. Your story is so similar to mine. I am super excited to try this hummus tonight.

  2. I’m a cilantro lover, no doubt. Can’t wait to get my hummus on!

    Lovely words regarding your mom and your ED as it relates to veganism. I was worried my family would consider it just another way to restrict my intake, but I think they see that I’m happy, healthy, and passionate and that’s good enough for them!

  3. This hummus is delicious! I spread it on romaine leaves, and we enjoyed every bite.

    Thanks, Gena, for the wonderful recipe! You’re a star!!!

  4. HOW did I miss this post. You know I’ll be making this very soon, will let you know how it turns out!

  5. You can always add a little bouillon or water to the bit left at the bottom of your blender, pop on the lid and whizz it up and use the last bit of yumminess in a soup or sauce.
    I’ll make this recipe next time to fuel my hummus addiction – thanks for the recipe.

  6. There are not enough words to express how deeply I love you for saying “addictive” rather than “addicting”, as the latter makes my editing-language-loving-proof-reading-pedantic mind explode into a hundred thousand pieces. I want to hug you right now.

    As a long-time coriander lover, I’m adding this to my “to make” list 🙂

  7. It sounds so yummy, but frankly speaking I’m not a great fan of cilantro. Will parsley do ok?

  8. I am as well in the cilantro lovers group! I also happened to love hummus, and my favorite thing about making hummus is adding all sorts of random yummy things into it, being creative. I have made cilantro hummus in the past, but I will try your recipe as well!

  9. I cannot wait to try this hummus! I love, love, love cilantro and dill is my second favorite. Trader Joe’s has a good cilantro jalepeno hummus but if you get a chunk of the jalepeno it can be pretty spicy, or at least for me it is.

    I don’t remember if I posted this on another comment but I finally made your Meyer Lemon and Dried Cherry Cashew Cheese and it was uh-mazing. I don’t have a food processor so I used my vitamix and I think I oversoaked my cashews so the consistency was a little chunky but the taste was great.

  10. I just made this. I had some cilantro that was on the brink and wanted to use it up. I did add garlic (I always add garlic), and I made it in the processor. It is so yummy. I don’t like some variations on hummus (like roasted red pepper) so I was a little nervous about it. But this was so good. Next I am going to try the bar recipe you put up. I know my kids are going to go ape for it.
    Thanks for all your recipes and articles. They help me so much. I am just starting to transistion my family to all vegan, mostly raw. I write about it in my blog, and your blog has been a life saver for me.
    This will be one of my go to recipes for sure!
    Heather (wellmangroup.blogspot.com)

    • So glad you enjoyed the recipe! And CONGRATS on trasitioning to veganism! So proud of you.

  11. I have a friend who has that cilantro issue, it’s the first I had heard about it about 4 months ago. I LOVE cilantro and adding it to hummus is a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Add some veggie juice or broth after making hummus and drink smoothie or save for soup.

  13. I was just about to whip up a batch of your hemp hummus – my favorite hummus to date – but I think I’ll pop over to WF to pick up some cilantro to try this version. I love cilantro! (Sometimes I lace your hemp hummus with a little Tabasco for an extra kick!)

    I relate so much to your ED history and the impact on your parental relationship. My own loving relationship with my parents will always be tainted by my many years of serious illness, but they have also come to respect and take pride in how healthy I’ve become. They have been my biggest champions through the years. I’ve got 15 years on you and my parents still worry about my old, restrictive tendencies!

  14. I love hearing about your relationship with you and your mom. It’s in stark contrast to my mother and I. I’m not complaining, and have a great relationship with my mom, it’s just a lot different since i have a bunch of younger siblings to distract her!

    I make a variation of this hummus quite often actually. The only difference is I use lime juice and the water is the “juice” from the can of chickpeas. It’s definitely a staple in my diet.

  15. This recipe sounds amazing! I need to buy some cilantro tonight 🙂

    I think my parents were a bit worried when I said I had become vegan, assuming it was a fad diet and I’d get skinny again. But having fed them many vegan meals (and cakes!) I think they’re convinced 😉

  16. MMM. My favorite hummus combo is jalapeno cilantro. I’ve never made it without the jalapeno but will give it a shot.

    Also, side note, I’ve been making a lot of your dressings over the last couple of weeks and have fallen in love with them! I have an aversion to raw onions and garlic as well so I appreciate that your recipes either don’t include them or can be eliminated. Yay!

  17. Another delicious post, on many levels. Thanks for sharing. I wish your Mom could meet mine, I feel that no matter what happens, my whole family will never accept this lifestyle and that there will always be an elephant in the room. I am sending your Mom on a missionary trip to NJ! 🙂 I absolutely relate to everything you wrote, and it’s so wonderful you are sharing not only your recipes, but also your feelings, with the world. MERCI BEAUCOUP and keep it coming! (I also don’t understand how you find time to blog every day and get through med school? I think you deserve a Nobel prize for time management. 🙂

    • Also how long did it take you to “heal” completely? My gut and I are getting impatient!

      • Awww. I think patience is actually key to healing, friend!

        It took me years to experience regular elimination and normal digestion. At least 3-4 years. But I had a serious ED history, which made matters complicated. The best I can say is that you can’t expect healing to happen overnight; you have to just celebrate small steps forward and remain confident that things will improve. Also, it’s worth saying that for me, 80% of the picture was psychological in nature; hypnotherapy and regular therapy and stress management were more significant in healing than any other food related choice, except perhaps the choice to be vegan, which did (of course) change my health for the better.

        • THANK YOU for your response. I am almost in tears reading it! It’s so inspirational to know that you’ve been through (what I gather from reading your posts and FEEL like I know you, like many of your other readers 🙂 is a very similar experience to me and that there is hope for health! I do feel I’m sloooowly getting there, but it’s always frustrating to still have good days and bad days, but if you say it takes YEARS then I will be patient! I’d love to hear more about your experience with hypnotherapy? Have you posted about that at all, maybe I missed it? (I’m new to the Choosing Raw world 🙂 I know that for me a lot of my digestive issues are also psychological and since I have tried EVERYTHING else, maybe hynotherapy may be the answer! (and Veganism, bien sûr 🙂 (and probably leaving the entertainment business, but I’m not quite ready for that yet 🙂 Do you have a really good doctor you might share? I’ve seen hundreds but like true love, it just takes one! Have a great weekend, “Choisir le cru” (Choosing Raw en French 🙂

  18. Thanks Gena… I would love to know more about how veganism helped your IBS… Was there specific foods? How long did it take to heal? I suffer IBS-C too… I am not a staunch vegan, but still having issues… Sigh.

    • No, not specific foods. Plant based diet in general was hugely helpful, but within that, I ate (and eat) a whole spectrum: veggies, grains, legumes, organic, non-GMO soy, and so on.

      For me, the biggest change aside from going vegan was doing hynotherapy and stress management. My IBS-C was absolutely rooted in psychology and stress.

  19. This hummus sounds wonderful, I can’t wait to try it. Thanks! I’ve been known to spend a lot of time scrapping every bite from under the Vitamix blades. 🙂

  20. First – I am in the group who LOVES cilantro. I was reading this and asked my friend if she liked it and she was like, “NOOOOO!!!!!” Haha. I guess there are the two camps!

    Thank you for answering my question…I will definitely send this off to my mom, too. I think, like you have stated in previous posts, that by showing your success instead of just preaching it, then that is much more effective! I admire your honesty, Gena, about not remembering a meal without pain/guilt from ages 11 to 24…I winced when I read that because while I don’t always feel guilty after I eat, I still feel that cloud over my head at almost every meal. It’s far away enough that I can ignore it, but it’s still there.

    • Awww, Hannah.

      It’ll stay there for a while, the cloud. And that’s OK. I’m almost thirty, and it took a long time for me to consider myself fully guilt free after meals (it got better after 24, but there were lots of “off” nights in the year or two after). Remember, recovery is a winding road, and change does not happen overnight. Be patient. But do know that you can and will ultimately eat without regret — indeed, with no feeling afterwards than satisfaction. I’m living proof.

  21. Ha, I was just formulating a question about getting the hummus out from under the VitaMix blades, when I scrolled a millimeter further and you addressed that very issue!

    My parents are really proud and supportive of my veganism, too. It’s so nice to have family support even when their eating habits are omnivorous.

  22. I’ve been tempted to scoop out every last drop of anything from under those Vita blades. I always cook, wash dishes, and doing my prep work with rubber gloves on. They save my hand skin! And add a layer of finger protection if Im tempted to do any scraping 🙂

  23. I adore cilantro. I’m so thankful I don’t have the “soap gene” (or whatever you want to call it!) I know you don’t always love the concept of detox, but cilantro is actually great for detoxification, too.

  24. love love love love love love love cilantro

    does that explain my feelings about the subject?

  25. Yum! One of my favorite kinds of store-bought hummus is a jalapeno-cilantro flavor, so I bet I would love this recipe. Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hummus recipe I didn’t like 🙂

  26. Have a great night yourself. It sounds like your mom has done a lot of work on herself through your lead and through love of you, to accept you where you are. I think my mom has undergone some similar things with my choices too. My grandmother in Israel has been the most surprising, having been on at me for being too thin my whole life, trying to get me to eat all kinds of traditional (and inappropriate to me (like bread) things) the fact that I “recovered” from my lowest with fruit and veg seemed to just make it easy for her to accept–“Ok, that’s how she eats, that’s what works!”


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