How To Make Hummus Powder the Cheap and Easy Way

I like hummus occasionally, but I hate how much it costs for just a little tub. Another concern is that it is one of the foods that seem to be susceptible to food contamination. At the moment I have to be especially careful. Listeria can cause severe problems if you are pregnant.

Years ago, I used to buy hummus powder for around $4 per lb. Pretty expensive for something made from chickpeas but still less money than premade stuff.

I got to craving hummus the other day when I tried to think about foods that were easy to eat and high in protein. Initially, I was going to boil some chickpeas and make a batch to eat over the course of the week. I mentioned to Matt how we used to get it dried, and he suggested I make my own dry mix.

Cooking Chickpeas

                                                  Chickpeas are often called Garbanzo beans. There is no difference.

I bought generic Great Value Chickpeas in one-pound bags. I soaked 2 lbs in cold water for about 8 hours, rinsed them, and then cooked them on low in a slow cooker overnight. If you choose to use a regular cooker, the total cook time will be 1.5-2 hours. I suspect, like most hard, dry beans, the time is much longer. Slow cookers make it easy.

Chickpeas need to be drained well and allowed to cool enough to work with. You can smash them up with a little water, too, at this point. The end goal is to have a chickpea paste that can be dried.

Here is where you need to decide if you want to dry the bean paste and add spices later or add additional ingredients so that you have a mix that just needs water and oil to add when you want to make a batch of hummus. The ingredients for hummus mix have a good shelf life, so I think it makes more sense just to mix everything and dehydrate, especially if you want to use this for backpacking or trail food.

Hummus Spices and Additional Ingredients

  • Cooked Chickpeas
  • Tahini 
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Garlic
  • Lemon Juice
  • Olive or grapeseed oil ( Do not add if dehydrating. You will add oil when you mix up some powder to eat! This is very important to remember.)

Keep in mind that the list above is just the basics. You can customize this to your own tastes. Add some hot pepper powder for some extra heat, or use lime juice instead of lemon juice. The beauty of making your own mixes is that you are not limited to just a few basic flavors. Look at different hummus recipes online for some inspiration. Just remember to leave out the oil if you are dehydrating hummus into shelf-stable powder.

I used the following for this recipe:

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Note: I highly recommend mixing the chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice first and then adding salt and other spices gradually, making sure to taste a little as you go. Tastes vary a lot. This is a good way to make sure your first batch is something you really want to eat!

Mix ingredients well. A blender or food processor creates a smooth product. If you use a blender, split the recipe and make sure to add a little water or you risk burning up your blender motor.

Dehydrating

A food dehydrator is ideal for this process, but you can use an oven if you are careful. If you have fruit roll-up trays for your dehydrator, then spread a layer of hummus paste on each tray and dehydrate at 130 F until dry. Parchment paper or even cheesecloth can be used to line trays if you don’t have plastic liners. Note: If you choose to buy fruit roll-up trays for your dehydrator, make sure they are made for your model.

To dry in your oven, use parchment paper-lined cookie sheets or trays. Spread a thin layer of paste. Dry on the lowest setting your oven has. If your oven doesn’t go down to 150 F, you can leave it slightly open to keep the heat down and dehydrate that way.

Those with a lot of heat and sun to work with might try using the sun to dehydrate if they have a way to keep insects away. Many solar ovens come with dehydrator kits that offer an easy and clean way to dehydrate most anything.

Storing and Using

When dried, hummus comes out in chunks. While you can store it in tiny chunks, most people will want to powder it.  To make hummus from your powder, add some water, olive oil, or both and stir until you reach the desired consistency. Remember that you can always add some different spices or some diced roasted peppers if you want variety.

For storing, you can keep it in zip lock bags or jars. I recommend using a moisture absorber if you plan on using it over an extended period of time. For longer storage, vacuum sealing is best.

Do you have a favorite hummus recipe?