I do. Maybe you don't, because everyone in your house attacks it immediately, which does often happen here. But sometimes, we just can't eat it all quickly enough.
And then I become sad. Because who would want to throw away such beautifully smooth and delicious hummus?
But then we have to EAT all of that hummus. And even though Palestinians often serve hummus breakfast, lunch and dinner, we don't. But I do love having hummus on hand all of the time. I think Americans must love that, too, because Costco sells massive boxes of single serving tubs of hummus and they sell like hot cakes. Because of the preservatives, store-bought hummus will last a long time in the fridge, but fresh hummus will usually only last about a week.
So, here is a very easy way to extend the life of your homemade hummus. It takes no time, doesn't change the flavor, and is as easy as stirring.
Lacto-fermenting is a very traditional method (think yogurt and sauerkraut) for preserving foods. It removes the bad bacteria, which causes food spoilage, and allows the good bacteria (Lactobacillus organisms) to feed off of the lactose or other sugars present in the food, and converts them into lactic acid. This lactic acid creates an acidic environment which safely preserves the foods, and gives the foods a little tangy flavor.
As exciting as it is to preserve your food, there is an even more important benefit to lacto-fermented foods. When you ferment your foods, you are converting them into living foods with active cultures, full of health-building probiotics that will improve your gut health and in turn, improve your overall health (see previous post). So, something that takes (in this case) fifteen seconds of work, has a really high nutritional payoff.
In this recipe, we are using whey as a starter culture. Whey jump-starts the fermentation process by adding a supply of the Lactobacillus organisms. These good bacteria naturally live on fresh vegetables, so if you are fermenting vegetables (think pickles and sauerkraut), you don't have to use a starter. Since hummus is made with a cooked legume, they are probably absent, so I am using a little whey as a starter. If you don't have a supply of whey on hand, make a batch of labani, and save the whey. Whey keeps in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to six months, but you can also freeze it in an ice cube tray so that you always have a supply.
Lacto-Fermented Hummus1 recipe hummus
1/4 cup whey
1. Stir whey into your hummus. Cover tightly with a lid, and leave on your counter for eight hours or overnight, then transfer to cold storage.
*Traditional Food Basics: Eat (Good) Germs
*How to Make Really (Smooth) Authentic Hummus
*Labani and Whey
*Just as Good as Hummus: Smokey Eggplant Dip
Shared at Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Thank Your Body Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Fight Back Friday.