There’s nothing like the flavor of garbanzo beans and cinnamon. Let me try that again, what about peanut butter-cinnamon hummus? Searching through recipes online it’s not hard to track down the main ingredients in traditional hummus. They are: chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo beans), tahini (which is a Middle Eastern sauce made from ground sesame seeds), garlic (lots!), lemon juice, olive oil (sometimes sesame oil), salt and pepper.

That’s it.

And the directions? Put the ingredients in the blender, pulse.

So it’s not surprising that you’ll find numberless variations of hummus, usually on the savory side—red pepper hummus, chipotle hummus, and other pairings. But I wanted to do a more kid-friendly hummus to serve alongside baked pita chips. I was looking for something that would be fun to serve afterschool. Plus, I wanted to tweak the recipe so that I could leave out the tahini. It’s not that I don’t like the flavor, but it seems I’m always buying a jar, I use a whole tablespoon or two and then within a week or so it goes bad. So what to replace the tahini with?

I figured that tahini adds a bit of healthy high fat content with all those ground sesame seeds so why not substitute it with another similar ingredient? Peanut butter. I throw a little peanut butter into all sorts of unexpected places—from chili to stirfry sauces. The roasted nut flavor adds a layer of depth; I was hoping it would do the same for my hummus.

Now I didn’t want the peanut flavor to overwhelm the more subtle taste of the chickpeas so I didn’t use a lot and I also tossed in some sesame seed oil to give it a hummus vibe. But my hummus lacked the umph that garlic would have given it. My solution? Cinnamon. I know, I know, sounds strange, but cinnamon in Middle Eastern foods isn’t a stretch so I thought it was worth a try. The flavors blended perfectly.

I’ll warn you, though, if you’re looking for the traditional hummus flavor, this isn’t it. But if you want to try something a little different that still has the satisfying texture of chickpeas but with a more snacky feel—give this a try.

Serve with baked cinnamon and sugar pita chips and apple slices. Yummy.

Peanut Butter-Cinnamon Hummus with Cinnamon and Sugar Pita Chips

Ingredients for the hummus

1 small can (7.75 ounces) chickpeas (reserve 1 Tablespoon liquid)

1 Tablespoon peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

¼ teaspoon sesame oil

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of salt


Drain the liquid from the chickpeas, except for one tablespoon. Place the chickpeas in a blender and pulse until the beans break into smaller chunks. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until you reach your desired consistency. Add the chickpea liquid in small increments to reach a smoother consistency and less for a chunkier hummus. Serve immediately or chill for later use.

Ingredients for the pita chips

1 12-ounce package pitas (5 loaves)

cinnamon and sugar mix (see directions)

cooking spray


Using a pizza cutter, cut the pitas into six pieces as you would with a small pizza. Lightly spray a 9 x 13” baking pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In an old spice container (or similar container with holes on the lid top) mix ½ cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon (or more based on your tastes). Place the pita slices onto the baking pan; lightly coat with the cooking spray. Sprinkle the slices lightly with the cinnamon-sugar mix. Place in the oven and cook for 7 to 12 minutes or until just crisped. Enjoy.

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