Spicy harissa hummus + my kitchen outlook

Spicy harissa hummus + my kitchen outlook

Do you remember when you started perusing the blogosphere? I became super interested in cooking in my early 20’s and started researching healthy recipes and found The Buff Chickpea, which doesn’t exist anymore. But it was my first window into the health blog world and for that little blog with maybe 15-20 recipes I am so grateful. It opened my eyes to an alternative way of eating and to a whole new hobby, cooking healthy and eventually blogging about it.

Of course I had to get my inspo from somewhere. I got super stoked by blogs such as Healthy Happy Life, Fork & Beans, & Chocolate Covered Katie. They made eating healthy fun and playful instead of posting what I was hearing from gym goers about eating chicken & steamed broccoli. I started playing in the kitchen with vegan dishes & the first time I made vegan chocolate cupcakes was a snowy President’s Day and OMG they were gone in no time.

I learned about hummus, made vegan nutella popsicles, and homemade tortillas for tacos and began exploring farmers’ markets. Cooking became my creative outlet and playtime. I made food that was awesome, i.e. portobello veggie burgers…drool, and food that was not so awesome, grapefruit nice cream just didn’t work for some reason. I don’t love citrus and cream together. I didn’t care whether it worked out and always went all in. Some days in the kitchen were super on point where all experiments worked and other days I might have ended up tossing a too icy nice cream.

I have been creating intentions for my days and weeks lately thanks to the New Year and some lovely friends who post motivational questions on good ol’ FB. I love setting these intentions in the mornings and on a weekly & bi-weekly basis. I want to lead every day of life like I have in the kitchen. Diving in head first to crazy experiments and getting super stoked when something works out and having a “well I tried something different” attitude when it doesn’t. Who cares if you spent an hour dreaming up the perfect recipe and another 2 hours making it and photographing it only to have it taste like something you drudged up from the bottom of the veggie crisper. I now know that grapefruit and coconut aren’t a winning combo in ice cream.

I realized that leaving my job was just taking one of the many scary leaps I would have to take into building a life for myself that I would deem successful & fulfilling. I get scared when having to “sell” my skills and what would happen if I fail, but I am constantly trying to have my kitchen perspective and go all in and accept that some experiments will be successful and some will suck when they fail.

Now that you’ve scrolled through lots of texts and photos I have to present to you my favorite hummus I ever did eat. Speaking of experiments, I have researched forevvvveerrrr the best way to get the creamiest hummus. “Use the brine!” they say. “Peel the skins off each individual chickpea,” they urge. Yeah, right. So after much research and thanks to Philly’s Zahav for making me obsessed with finding the best way and then divulging that secret, too! To get it nice and creamy, you gotta cook the hell out of the chickpeas. I mean soak, soak again, then boil. and then boil and simmer some more. They need to be tender as your butt after your SoulCycle sesh. Enjoy!

Harissa hummus

  • Servings: 1 batch
  • Time: 1 day + 20 min.
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1 c. dried chickpeas or 1 15oz. can chickpeas* (see notes for using canned chickpeas)
3 c. water + 3 c. water
1 piece kombu seaweed (optional)
1 tsp. baking soda, halved
1/2 c. tahini (about 5 oz)
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. harissa sauce (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
Juice from 2 large lemons
1 tsp. salt


In a large pot, soak 1 c. dried chickpeas with 3 c. water and half of the baking soda overnight or up to 24 hours. Discard soaking water and rinse chickpeas in a colander. Add chickpeas back to pot along with 3 c. water, remaining baking soda, and kombu if using, and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are overly tender and skins are falling off. Remove & discard foam that rises to the surface with a spoon throughout the process.
Drain and rinse chickpeas. Add garlic, lemon juice & salt to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until combined. Add tahini & harissa and blend. Finally, add the chickpeas and blend until creamy.Top with a little extra harissa and/or olive oil.

*If you choose to use canned chickpeas, omit the 3c. water and cooking process. Creaminess will be affected. [\recipe]

Adapted from Zahav hummus recipe.


  1. So if I use canned chickpeas, the hummus will not be as smooth? Even if i cook ’em til they are as soft as a marshmallow??
    And did you ever try making hummus using yellow lentils???

    1. Author

      I have never tried cooking canned chickpeas down even more. I have noticed that adding the brine helps, but still does not quite reach the same texture. I have indeed made hummus with yellow lentils, but I can say that I may have to overcook the lentils even more so it’s creamier. Let me know how it turns out if you ever do it!

      1. I will try yellow lentil hummus in the future. Right now I am concentrating on homemade marshmallows. First attempt was too gelatinous. I am finding different recipes for them.

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