It’s summer time! Time for picnics, cook-outs, and parties. This recipe is a great way to contribute to a delicious spread and still stick with your health and weight loss goals! A nice twist on the classic hummus, this dip is easy to whip up and sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Buffalo Hummus
makes about 2 cups
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas, if you’re cooking them yourself)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
sprinkling of salt (adjust according to your taste preference)
2 cloves garlic, or 2 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS tahini
1 TBS  hot sauce (any cayenne-based one will do)*
1 TBS lemon juice (juice of half a lemon, if you squeeze the crap out of it)
1/2 cup roasted red pepper (no need to cut up)
2 TBS olive oil (or you can use the  liquid from can of chickpeas; used the oil and then added a bit of water until the consistency was what I wanted)

*I actually wanted more flavor and will be adding perhaps even another TBS more of hot sauce the next time I make this.  Taste after you’ve pulsed the first time and see what you think; adjust accordingly.  The taste will almost certainly depend partly on what hot sauce you’re using!

Put everything but the water/oil/chickpea juice into a food processor ( a blender would probably work too, but I haven’t tried it so I can’t vouch for it).  Pulse/blend until relatively smooth. Add the water/oil/chickpea juice and process until super smooth.  If you want it a bit thinner, add a bit more liquid and process again.  Serve with whole grain pita chips, celery, or carrots, or try as a spread on your sandwiches and wraps!  Feel free to sprinkle some cayenne and more hot sauce over the top before serving.

Chickpeas AKA Garbanzo beans AKA Fiber Freaks
Chickpeas are a crazy-good source of fiber.  One mere cup of these babies contains almost half of your daily fiber needs!  What’s fiber good for? Well, fiber helps keep your digestive tract happy and healthy, bowels regular, and even slows the absorption of sugar into the blood stream to help control blood glucose (sugar) levels.  Additionally, chickpeas are a good source of folate (15%), which is needed for proper DNA synthesis, as well as B6, which helps with numerous metabolic functions in the body, as well as the synthesis  of heme (the stuff in your blood that transports oxygen), the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin (helps with balancing moods and sleep, as well as appetite control), and allows for the conversion of tryptophan (an amino acid found in some protein sources) to niacin (B3).  And if that wasn’t enough to have you convinced chickpeas are awesome, these legumes also contain 16% of your daily Iron needs, 12 g of protein, and 8% of daily Calcium requirements, as well as a whopping 98% of your Manganese requirements (which helps to activate enzymes essential for metabolism, acts as an antioxidant, and supports wound healing).