Monday, April 18, 2011

Hummus for Babies (That Parental Types Might Sneak a Few Bites of Too)

Rachel here.

So, we've got an eater on our hands. I mean, M has been eating since day 1, obviously, but something has changed recently. The kid wants food, like the mama and dada kind, and her patience for being spoon fed just any old jar of baby food is disappearing before our eyes (unlike a good number of her jars of said baby food). I have been slow to get on board with this new development, clinging a little bit to the simpler mealtimes of picking a vegetable and a fruit, maybe mashing it in with some tofu, and watching her gobble until she turns her head away, full. John has been quick to meet her burgeoning interest in new foods, offering her little tastes of most things he eats and giggling with delight as she nods her head in affirmation of deliciousness.

So, in short, these are the days of beans (This was obviously where I was headed, right? No? Well, keep reading). Using her very refined pinching skills, M has been enjoying black beans. A little while back she was eating her beans and I was eating mine in hummus form on carrots when she started reaching towards my lunch and grunting. If I've learned anything in the last 10 months (holy crap! ten months? TEN MONTHS!) it's to selectively resist my grunting child, saving said resistance for dangers and, in the process, my sanity (she will grunt diligently until satisfied). So I dipped a carrot in the hummus and offered it to her, only to watch her eyes grow wide while she slobbered the stuff off before demanding more while nodding fiercely in testimony to the awesomeness of hummus. I gave her a few more licks and then returned the hummus to the fridge, noting its saltiness. While we're all for flavor when it comes to M's meals, we are also interested in holding off on the salt. Cumin is good, salt is to be staved off as long as possible for its health detriments from where we're sitting. Anyway, as I closed the refrigerator door I vowed to try my hand at making M some hummus of her own, filled with all of the yumminess but none of the salt.

Fast forward to this weekend and I can proudly declare victory. Oozing with raw garlic and lemon, tahini and cumin M devoured my homemade hummus today at lunch. She then took the tub (ok, I let her have it) and dumped the rest of the batch on the floor. In terms of a 10 month old's valuation system, I consider this a raging success. She liked it so much she wanted to eat and play with it and that's about as big a compliment a mama can get.

2-3 cloves garlic
25 oz. garbanzo beans (If using canned, buy without salt and rinse thoroughly. If cooking your own, cook well.)
1 tspn cumin
1 large lemon

In food processor fitted with steel blade, mince garlic until very fine. You may need to scrape the sides and give the blade a few more spins. Add the garbanzo beans, all of the tahini (I bought some made at our local and fabulous grocery store, but no matter where you got it from add it all), the cumin and the juice from the lemon. Run food processor until all is smooth. Voila!

If you wanted to make this for adults, which I did with part of mine after removing most for M, add another 1/2 tspn cumin, 1 tspn onion powder, salt to taste, a drizzle of olive oil and then water to thin for dippability. The part I reserved for M I left thick so I could roll it into balls that would withstand her pinching fingers. Both versions are pretty darn yummy.

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