Are you having a dinner party, a family BBQ or do you just want some healthy alternative for lunches?

Amelia is our new FOOD blogger and we have a bunch of fantastic foodie related posts in the making, to help you get creative in the kitchen. We’re starting off with a delicious series for the next 3 weeks, a trio of dips! 

I used to go out for breakfast, lunch and dinner all the time. A massive interest in cooking and one mortgage later I’m slightly more frugal with my money and I don’t eat out as often (instead of three times a week it’s more like once a week). There are heaps of benefits! It’s cheaper, I love cooking and I know what I’m putting in our meals.

I love experimenting and making new things, using up what I have in the fridge and pantry and being creative in the kitchen. So don’t be afraid to try new things, have fun and get creative! If it doesn’t work the first time then give it another go a few weeks later and if not give yourself a pat on the back and be proud of yourself for giving it a go. Enjoy!

Crackers or carrot sticks and dips are a great choice but there are so many options at the shops and they can be pretty expensive. So why not make your own? I can guarantee that you’ll have most of the ingredients already and all you need is a food processor (these things are magical when it comes to saving time in the kitchen).

HUMMUS

Here’s a recipe for one of my favourite dips hummus! It’s tasty, quick, easy and you can add other ingredients to suit your taste.

Homemade Hummus (serves 6-8 as a starter)

Hummus is so simple, requires no cooking and you can use it as a side and serve it with corn chips or Turkish bread. Yum!

You need:Hummus ingredients

  • 2 x 400g cans of chickpeas (reserve the liquid and a few chickpeas for decoration)
  • 4 tsp tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed sea salt
  • 6 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • 3½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Paprika (optional)
  • Coriander or parsley leaves (optional)

What now?

Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and tip into the food processor. Add the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and seven tablespoons of the reserved liquid from the cans. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the oil while it runs.

When the mixture is smooth, transfer it to a nice serving bowl. Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil and decorate with a few whole chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped coriander or parsley leaves, for colour.

Making hummus

Note: Taste it when you’ve blitzed it to a smooth consistency. Add more garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. It really depends how you like it! Hummus is so simple, requires no cooking and you can serve it with grilled meats, serve it with corn chips or Turkish bread. Yum!

lemon juiceMix it up: I love plain hummus but once you’ve mastered the basic hummus you could add black olives, red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapenos, caramelized onion, coriander seeds, paprika, dried chilli flakes or sumac. If you want the texture to vary then add your ingredient of choice in pieces or if you want it smooth add it to the rest of the ingredients. The fun thing is that hummus is a great thing to experiment with to see what you like!

Tip: If you don’t have a lemon juicer then roll the lemon in a bench before you cut it in half to make it extra juicy. Cup one hand leaving enough space between your fingers for the juice to come through but not enough that the seeds will. Then squeeze one half of the lemon with your other hand. Do it in a separate bowl until you get the hang of it so the seeds don’t fall into the mixture. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!