Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spread it around

Officially, I am not a fan of climate change, but yesterday's warm sunshine in the mid 60s made it a little hard to resist smiling. Being in the out-of-doors, leading a bevy of excited pre-teens, with my hands in the dirt for much of the afternoon -- it was just delightful. After a productive hour and a half of taking soil samples and building a raised bed and planting strawberries and spinach in the garden with my middle school group at Drew Freeman, a dozen of us washed up and strolled back into the classroom just in time to help Ms. Matthews and the class chefs out with the eating of our healthy snack of the day: black bean hummus with pita bread, blue corn tortilla chips, and a plethora of freshly cut up veggies. (They do love chopping, these young cooks.) Who knew these kids would love hummus? They certainly didn't...until they made it themselves and tasted it. The bowl was wiped pretty clean.

Afterwards, I realized that the teachers were as excited about the rich, creamy dip as the students were. It was that good. And inexpensive. And healthy. And, well, should you want to make your own, here's the ridiculously easy recipe, adapted from Cooking Light:

Black Bean Hummus
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 TBSP lemon juice (freshly squeezed using one of these cool gadgets, if you have one)
2 TBSP tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
2 tsp ground cumin (kids seem to like using the mortar and pestle...)
½ tsp salt
2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
small jalapeno pepper, chopped
a handful of fresh cilantro, washed (optional to remove stems)
4 tsp olive oil

Put garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, black beans, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro in a food processor and process until smooth. You may need to add in 1-2 TBSP olive oil to make it creamy. Scoop out the spread into a bowl and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Serve with sliced fresh vegetables, pita bread, or bagel chips.

You know, with the weather so warm like this, you might need to break out a bowl of this at a picnic in the not-too-distant future. I'm just sayin'... Spread it around!

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