Cooking Dried Garbanzo Beans + Making Homemade Hummus

by Emily from Frugal Living NW on January 14, 2011

How to Cook Dried Garbanzo Beans

How to Cook Garbanzo Beans

Until this past week, I had never cooked dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans before. It’s funny how something so small can be so intimidating, but I guess you stick with what you know until you realize what you are missing. Who knew cooking beans was so similar to having children?!

Then I read this line in my trusty Bean Bible (Amazon), “Dry chickpeas are the most challenging bean to cook.” What’s that, a challenge? It’s on. Determined, I filled a small bag of dried beans in WinCo’s bulk section.

Chickpeas

I came home and continued reading, “Check that your chickpeas come from a source that sells through its stock quickly. Shriveled, dried-out chickpeas will never get soft, no matter how long you cook them.” Hmmm. My beans were definitely on the shriveled end of the spectrum. I stubbornly pushed on, turning to the official Soaking Chart for Dried Legumes. Let’s see… whole chickpeas… 10 hours?! My resolve started to waver, but I stuck with it.

And guess what? I am happy to report that I successfully soaked and cooked my shriveled little chickpeas. It was neither difficult, nor a disaster. And I’m not kidding when I say that as they were cooling on the counter, I started popping them in my mouth like candy. They were delicious; the flavor and texture were so superior to any slimy bean I had ever dumped out of a can.

Don’t take my word for it. Try this bean for yourself! The steps are the same ones we covered yesterday. I’ll run through them one more time. Repetition is the mother of learning, right?

Speed soaked garbanzo beans

Cooking Dried Garbanzo (or other) Beans using the Speed Soak Method

  1. Sort 2-3 cups of beans on a rimmed baking sheet and rinse the beans in the cold water.
  2. I didn’t want to soak these overnight so I switched to the Speed Soaking Method. Brilliant. You can do this with any bean to speed up the soaking time. Here’s how it works: Place the beans in a pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in the warm water for 1 hour. Drain the water and rinse the beans.
  3. Dump the beans back in the pot and cover with several inches of cold water. Bring the water to a boil. Let simmer on medium heat, covered, for an hour or until tender. The beans should be soft but slightly firm. They will cook a bit more as they cool. You don’t want them to be so soft they are mushy or falling apart.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in salt, if desired. Let the beans cool in the water, absorbing the salt as they cool.
  5. After half an hour or so, drain the beans and cool completely.  Use them immediately or store in the fridge for several days, the freezer for several months.

Soaked garbanzo beans

I froze my cooked garbanzo beans in flat 1.5-cup portions. I will just pop them out of the freezer as needed for salads, hummus, falafel, or soup. Start to finish, this little cooking experiment took about 2.5 hours of very little effort.

Again, the benefits of cooking your own beans from scratch are totally worth the time involved. They are cheap, tasty, and healthy. And that’s a winning combination in my book.

Homemade hummus ingredients

One of my favorite things to make with garbanzo beans is hummus. For a concoction so simple: garbanzo beans, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt… it’s surprisingly addicting. And the best part is, you don’t even have to feel guilty about polishing off an entire container in one sitting. Well, at least my husband and I never do.

The one ingredient that most of us probably don’t have taking up space on our pantry shelves is tahini. It’s just a paste made of pureed sesame seeds. Most 15 ounce jars of tahini cost between $4-$6, but at 1-2 tablespoons per batch of hummus, a little bit goes a long way so it’s a relatively economical ingredient. In most grocery stores it can be found in the organic/natural food section or the peanut butter aisle.

homemade hummus

Buying hummus at the grocery store will run you around $3-$5/10 oz. container. I’ve often used coupons for hummus. Combined with a sale, this isn’t a bad deal. We’re perfectly happy with the flavor & quality. However, like many things, making a batch of hummus in your own kitchen is easy and economical.

How to make Homemade Hummus

Spicy Hummus
adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe

1 (14.5 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained (reserve liquid) or 1 3/4 c. cooked garbanzo beans
1 T. tahini sesame paste
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. crushed pepper flakes
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
2 cloves garlic, finely crushed or 3-4 cloves Roasted Garlic*
reserved liquid or water
salt, to taste
1/2 lemon, juiced

  1. Combine beans, tahini, oil, pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, garlic, salt, and lemon juice in food processor bowl or blender; pulse to combine.
  2. Slowly add enough of the reserved liquid or water (or even more olive oil), pulsing and checking occasionally, to achieve the desired smooth consistency.
  3. Transfer to a smaller bowl and serve with vegetables, pita bread or crackers. Refrigerate leftovers for up to a week.

* I found this is one of the best places to use roasted garlic. The first time I tried making hummus, I used a clove of fresh garlic. It overpowered the dish, adding a bitter bite. Even when I minced it as finely as possible, it was too strong. We love garlic so that’s saying a lot. Try it either way, but by using roasted garlic, you’ll definitely get a more mellow, sweet garlic flavor. Learn how to roast garlic here.

Homemade Hummus Recipe

Hummus is a delicious low-fat alternative to mayonnaise in sandwiches or wraps or served as an appetizer or snack. I even serve it for dinner with pita bread, vegetables, and sometimes grilled meat.

Leave a comment, question, or tip! Oh, and has anyone ever frozen hummus before? I’ve read it can be done, but I am skeptical it holds well. Opinions?

I absolutely love my Progressive International Lemon SqueezerI also own a fancy juicer attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it rarely sees the light of day. This lemon squeezer, on the other hand, gets pulled out several times a week. I use it for both lemons and limes; it quickly presses out fresh juice, while separating the pulp and seeds for any recipe that calls for a small amount of fresh citrus juice. Amazon carries this lemon squeezer for under $10!

This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.

{ 110 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel April 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm

I freeze hummus often and it works well. I put it in small containers that we’ll eat in a few days and that will unthaw relatively quickly. These often double as an icepack in my lunch. I pop a frozen hummus container out of the freezer in the morning, and by lunch its thawed enough around the edges to enjoy with veggies, etc…

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Carol March 23, 2014 at 9:43 am

I put 2 lbs of chick peas in my large crock pot, fill to top with water and cook on high overnight. I put the crockpot outside as we don’t like the smell of the chick peas cooking and if the crock pot sputters, I don’t have a mess to clean up. When they are soft and still hot, I spoon them into quart or pint canning jars and put canning lids on the jars. I store them in the fridge once they cool and they seal. I once tried storing them in the pantry but one didn’t seal so I don’t want to risk that again. My favorite flavor of hummus is chipotle pepper. I get the best results using chipotle pepper powder.

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Yvette March 20, 2014 at 2:15 am

Another great topping is the spice – herb combo of Zather sprinkled on top. I’ve come to like that the best, it has sumac and sesame seeds. I also like to pool a little olive oil. Another variation I like is to add the canned chipotle peppers, and if I am really in a pinch and want a little franks hot sauce or sirachia.

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Tara March 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Thank you so much for this! I tried cooking garbanzo beans for the first time today after finding this and they came out awesome! I am also happy to know they freeze nicely so I don’t have to buy them in the can anymore. I can’t wait to try making hummus for the first time tomorrow!

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Kate from Frugal Living NW March 19, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Good luck Tara! I made mine yesterday and it is so good.

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Kitty February 13, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Oh Yum chick peas are so wonderful, I always soak mine overnight,
I need to get some more and make your hummus recipe this weekend.
I’m on a very sodium restricted diet I cook from scratch to have control of the salt levels.
Love your blog.

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Kate from Frugal Living NW February 13, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Thanks!

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Helen January 23, 2014 at 7:01 pm

I’ heard from my daughter,who is vegetarian and Israeli and specialist on hummus;that for truly good hummus ,you need cook garbanzo beans for very long time .The skins has to fall off and you can mush them in your hands. I’ cook my garbanzo in pressure cooker for 50 minutes.

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annmarie_nguyen@yahoo.com December 5, 2013 at 2:18 am

Thanks for posting this – just made it last night – Dec 2013! Delicious I have to say! I was in a quandry of how the beans would look after – maybe post a picture or description or how it should taste, how soft. Thanks again – very very useful!

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Emily from Frugal Living NW December 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll add that to the directions. Glad you had delicious results!

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Rob Roy October 14, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I’ve been making my own hummus for years and loving it. I came across your site while searching for quicker ways to cook the beans and you delivered. Yes…when I first started making it I went the 10-15 hours of soaking the beans route…live & learn.
One trick I wish to pass on to others is, if you don’t have tahini available, you can substitute just about any type of peanut, safflower or seed butter. Good stuff!!

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wASHINGTON MARYJO October 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Rob Roy, I just heard the other day about peanut butter, but didn’t know about safflower or seed butter, thanks for the tip!

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OregonSue September 19, 2013 at 10:23 am

I was so happy to find your blog with the garbanzo beans… I bought some and have done the overnight soaking cooking 1 hour way. You just made my day! Thanks. Will be experimenting and make several kinds with flavors like wasabe, ranch, olive tepanade. Will post on my blog.

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Kristina September 8, 2013 at 7:20 am

I love hummus! Thanks for the tips. If you have a dollar tree nearby I found the exact same lemon squeezer…you guessed it, for a dollar!

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Tanja August 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I froze my homemade hummus before, and it worked beautifully. It had the same consistency before and after freezing.

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Laura Malione August 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Thank you soooooooo much!!! Found your blog/site from a desperate Google search. I was ready to just give the beans to family and have them deal with the whole soaking nonsense lol. Now I can continue on my healthy eating quest! Thanks again!!! :)

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Jessie July 15, 2013 at 11:58 am

This was amazing! I used a full pound of chickpeas/garbanzo beans but omitted the pepper flakes, coriander, and cumin because I didn’t have any. I also found this through a Google search, as another comment mentioned. I made the plain hummus as described (no spices except garlic), and to about 1 cup of the hummus added a small handful of cilantro and half of a small jalapeno, chopped, and combined in a food processor. Absolutely delicious!

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suzanne July 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I’ve been desperately trying to rid my home of canned items. I live way out in yhe country so we had a ton of cans our first year. Since then… I’ve learned to make super easy and superior cream of chicken soup,and my own soups… so, I bought a bag of garbanzos about 6months ago… I’m finally giving it a try. I did the long soak… only about 7hours. Simmering now. Crossing my fingers. I love hummus, so I hope this works and I never have to buy canned beans again! Thank you.

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Heather M June 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Mmm, we love homemade hummus. Cheap, and healthier than the grocery store. I don’t think I would freeze it because it is so easy to make fresh and I would worry about the texture changing.Thank you for linking up with us for Fabulously Frugal Thursday.

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Miz Helen June 11, 2013 at 8:25 am

Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

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Maria June 10, 2013 at 5:47 am

This hummus looks wonderful! I love hummus with different vegetables or with pita chips, and have been wanting to make some too!!! This looks really good!

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Brittany May 23, 2013 at 6:11 pm

How much hummus did the 1 3/4 cup of dried chick peas make?

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Emily from Frugal Living NW May 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I soak and cook a large amount of chick peas at one time, around 4-6 cups dried.

The recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups cooked chick peas. This hummus recipe yields around 1 1/2 cups.

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Yvette May 15, 2013 at 5:05 am

I use sesame seeds from the bulk dept. and make my hummus in my vita mix. This is a cost cutting measure plus delicious. Sometimes I toast them first along with cumin seeds. Next,
I want to add that I use my 8 quart pressure cooker to cook garbanzos, currently $58.00 which is a great cooker. 11 minutes.
http://www.amazon.com/Presto-8-Quart-Stainless-Pressure-Cooker/dp/B0000Z6JIW/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1368619181&sr=8-4&keywords=pressure+cookers,

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Yvette July 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Hi, I always cook at least 5 or 6 cups dried beans and freeze the remainder in two cup containers. When cooking dried beans in a pressure cooker the rule of thumb is to not fill the cooker more than 1/3 full of the soaked beans. The cooker needs room to build pressure. 1/2 full for regular foods. The cooked beans freeze perfectly. The hummus is better not frozen. My daughter likes half apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. I use more lemon juice than this recipe. I make lots of variations, sun dried tomatoes, lemon zest, canned adobe peppers.

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Terry April 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm

It is good to buy a case of organic multi-colored bell peppers in September at the best price, grill them and then pressure can half-pint jars. Lasts all year and totally ready to add to hummus (today) and homemade pizza (last night).

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nick April 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm

…. pardon me, mind currently blown…. canning my peppers might be the single most brilliant idea that i have ever heard of :D CAN’t wait to CAN!!!!! thank you for your brilliance Terry

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Anna April 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I just made hummus with garbanzo using this recipe. Its delicious! Thanks a lot!

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Josh March 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm

When I make hummus I usually skip the tahini and use a dash of toasted sesame oil. It gives you a nice and even, though more intense, sesame flavor. If you want to try this, start with 1/4 tsp of the oil and go from there–it’s very strong stuff!

I also use extra olive oil when I roast garlic so I can use it for cooking and hummus… Try adding a bit of garlic oil along with the regular olive oil if you’re a true garlic lover.

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Abigail March 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Yummy!!! I just made roasted red and yellow peppers for the first time and also just made hummus from scratch thanks to this site! I also used garlic infused olive oil and chili infused olive oil and line juice instead of lemon! Delicious! Even my 2 yr old likes it, thanks for this site!

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nick March 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm

glad you liked it so much abigail! roasted peppers go really well on lots of things. next time you are making tacos/nachos/fajitas roast some up. or my personal favorite of all, toss some in a creamy pasta dish. and hummus…. well i literally eat it every day haha

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slywlf March 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Like others before me, I found this site by desperately Googling dry chickpeas how to cook – and I am so gals I found this one! You make it clear, simple and un-intimidating, and now finally that bonanza of dry beauties are out of the canister and into hot water ;-)
My “recipe” is a hodge-podge of different curry and Moroccan recipes but one thing it absolutely required was chick peas, and since I don’t allow cans in my house anymore – well, except for the cat food ;-) – I had to do it for sure this time. Things are smelling scrumptious already, and I just wanted to say thanks for empowering me past my garbanzo fears ;-)

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Angela April 22, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Yea! We’re so glad you found us!

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Lorna Weaver March 16, 2013 at 10:18 am

I have used raw sunflower seeds in place of tahini for hummus. You need to process the hummus longer, but it will come out completely smooth. It is also easier to find the seeds over tahini and much cheaper too.

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Blaine February 14, 2013 at 9:29 am

Hi! I am going to try your humus recipe and I am a kitchen appliance/gadget addict! I am not “selling” but do want to share my absolute favorite citrus juicer. I have no ties to the company or product other than I have purchased one for all my family members and I share with anyone will to listen!
Stainless Steel Trumpet Lemon Citrus Juicer Reamer Trumpet Extractor

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Nicky February 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Thanks so much for posting this! I found you through a google search. Great, clear, concise directions. I had a ton of dried garbanzo beans lying in my cupboard and now I am going to try to roast them crispy for a yummy and healthy snack!

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Kate February 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm

We’re glad you found us!

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KaeLyn Morrill February 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Thanks for posting. I’m cooking garbanzos tonight and forgot how to do them.

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Carolyn January 30, 2013 at 8:22 am

Try adding spinach and artichoke. So delicious. I hulled out cherry tomatoes and filled them with artichoke and spinach hummus for a party appetizer, not one was left!

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don day January 28, 2013 at 7:28 am

Clear, concise, easy….thanks

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David January 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I would never remove the skins myself. I would bet you a whole penny there is some pretty good nutrition in the skins for one, and why do do all that work if it is all going to be ground up anyway into a finer part of some humus paste. Right now I myself need to go out and get a small food processor because I can not get it thick enough in a blender, and it is a bit coarse from just mashing it by hand. I want mine to spread on bread something akin to how peanut butter might spread, and then add a few sandwich extras such as lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, whatever, and some condiments. The sun dried tomatoes though sound like a good mix.

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Kim January 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I tried cooking dried garbanzo beans for the first time the other day and they had these skins that were coming off after the cooking process. Another site I found said to remove the skins but that was certainly way more work that it’s worth. Do you remove the skins after cooking or use them as is in your hummus recipe? Thanks for your help. I’m heading in to the kitchen now to make some fresh sun dried tomato hummus!

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Emily January 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Yes, some skins naturally come off during cooking. I don’t normally pop the skins off the garbanzo beans because neither my husband nor I mind a thicker hummus. I made one batch last week where I popped the skins off first. 2 cups took my 20+ minutes and is definitely not something I plan to do every time. It did produce a super smooth hummus. Check out Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for more (the comments also contain lots of information): http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/01/ethereally-smooth-hummus/

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chucki January 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm

try chipolte peppers if you really like spicy!!!!

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David January 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I googled this page searching for information on dried garbanzo beans/chickpeas. I got an amazing amount of cooked beans from about $1.50 worth of bin garbanzos. I would say enough to make sandwiches for a month. I am just now working on making sandwich spreads with these beans. Now looking for fresh olives to grate into it; a little red wine vinegar helps, (but just a little), as well as olive oil, and other seasonings, and flavors; (anything that would taste good and be good for you). I would still like to gain more insight on healthy flavorings. This will be a good way to transfer from eating carcinogenic lunch meat with “sodium nitrate” to these beans which are supposed to be anti-carcinogenic. It also appears to be inevitable that the most frugal ways of eating are also much healthier, especially over expensive processed foods.

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grace January 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Thank you so mcu for the helpful tips and the deliciouse recipe for the hummus.

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Steve Tapp January 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Thanks for this; I’ve used it twice already, a year apart.

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Marilyn January 1, 2013 at 10:36 am

The steps to soak & cook dried beans is worth the effort once you taste how delicious they are compared to canned beans. Also, freezing the beans is easy, so keeping canned beans on hand for an emergency is no longer needed. Thanks for posting this.

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Susan December 4, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Has anyone ever tried to make ‘roasted red pepper’ hummus? I’m going to try it tomorrow and thought I’d just toss in jarred roasted red peppers. Any other ideas?

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Emily December 4, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Yes, that would be a delicious addition!

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nick February 18, 2013 at 7:38 pm

realize im late but roasted red peppers at home have a smoother consistency and often a little sweeter flavor. just some olive oil salt and pepper over sliced red peppers. roast then for 15 min or so and let them cool. fridge for 4 days or so they are fine. they have never lasted longer than that at my house I put them in everything

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Renee March 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Hi Susan,

I’m also answering late, but as I am making a batch of roasted red pepper hummus right now, I thought I would comment. The other commenter, Nick, is so right!! Just brush a halved and seeded red pepper with a tiny bit of olive oil (even that is optional, I have roasted w/out the oil, too) and put the baking sheet under the broiler in the oven. When blackened, take them out and put them in a bowl with a tight lid for 10 min and they will be super easy to peel. Then you can store or use right away. Far better than the canned variety. Enjoy!

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MaryJo April 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Agree with the red pepper thing, for sure! It’s sooooo easy to roast them. Another tip, if you haven’t discovered Gateway Produce (Andresen at about 18th in Vancouver), check it out.

They have great produce and I’ve gotten as many as 5 red peppers for $1.00 and they were big and beautiful. Their prices almost always beat the grocery stores on produce and some is grown locally, though much comes from CA.

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