The Underrated Bean You Should Use As The Base For Homemade Hummus

Hummus has been around forever – perhaps the first written mention of it is in a 13th-century Syrian cookbook. The classic hummus recipe hasn't changed that much over time; it almost always includes chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil. But it might be time to try a fresh twist. Let us suggest a new legume to use as a base for your hummus: the white bean. Many purists might argue that if it's not made with chickpeas then it's not hummus. 'Hummus' means 'chickpeas' in Arabic, after all. However, whether you call it a purée, a mash, or a dip, any version made with white beans is delicious.

White bean is a term that covers a range of bean varieties, such as cannellini, Great Northern, and navy, to name a few — and all of them will work beautifully in hummus. White bean hummus is just as delicious as and, some would say, a better overall dish than that made with chickpeas. When blended, white beans take on a very smooth, creamy texture. Chickpeas, on the other hand, usually have a slightly sandier texture — particularly if you use canned chickpeas, because they have the skin left on. White beans also tend to have a more mild flavor that plays well with your other ingredients. So, if you're looking to switch up your hummus game or you're simply out of chickpeas, give white beans a try. 

How to make delightfully creamy hummus

White beans, unlike chickpeas, do not need to have their skin peeled off to be blended smoothly. The thick skin and generally denser quality of chickpeas are what give the hummus a slightly rougher texture. Even the dried variety of white beans — with the right amount of overnight soaking and next-day cooking – are naturally creamier thanks to their thinner skins. You can also use canned, precooked white beans, which do not need to be soaked and can be used straight out of the tin. Simply put all of the ingredients in a food processor or combine them with an immersion blender. The ease of preparation and smoother texture aren't the only benefits of using white beans, either; they also pack more protein than per 100 grams than chickpeas – a nutritious upside.

If you want to branch out from standard chickpea hummus toppings and sides, you can top your purée with pomegranate seeds and chili oil, or toss in marinated artichoke hearts and garlic confit – there's no limit to white bean hummus pairings. You can also pair different regional flavors with the hummus depending on the white bean type you've chosen. For the Italian cannellini, opt for flavors like basil and oregano, and swap pita chips for focaccia. If you've gone with Great Northern beans, which originated in Central America, draw inspiration from Peruvian cuisine with roasted corn and yellow chili peppers, then grab some warm tortillas.