(I know it's a little late, so this is Money saving Tuesday.)
I make a lot of our foods from scratch. Not only do I feel that it's healthier for our family and that we're getting more whole foods in our diet, but it also saves us a lot of money. A lot of things you buy in the store can be made at home for less money.
We like to eat a lot of hummus in our family. It was one of the first foods that Dallin would eat.
Oddly enough, he hasn't really touched it in 2 years. But Connor loves hummus.
It's a great snack that's high in protein and fiber, and it encourages more healthy eating because my favorite foods to dip in hummus are vegetables and whole grain crackers like triscuits. The down side?
Hummus is $3 for a 10oz container, and this is a pretty good deal for store bought hummus.
So I often make my own. Especially with the way Connor eats it by the spoonfuls (just like Dallin did), it's a lot more cost effective to make it myself. And it uses ingredients I always have on hand, so I can whip up a quick batch for an afternoon snack.
If you haven't made hummus before, here are some good, kid-friendly basic recipes to get you started. Hummus usually has tahini paste in it. I don't use it because I don't have any, but we all like the taste of tahini. If you aren't a fan of tahini paste, this is one more reason you should make your own hummus. I don't really follow a recipe anymore, I just eyeball amounts and season to taste. Here's another recipe that sounds tasty and smooth.
My basic ingredients:
a 15 oz can of chick peas (also called garbanzo beans), drained
For this particular batch, I added roasted red bell pepper. It gives the hummus a nice sweetness.
Step 1: Roast a bell pepper. (To roast: place a whole pepper under the broiler, rotating occasionally to roast all sides, for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and wrap loosely in foil. Let sit til cool enough to handle. This sitting and "steaming" helps the skin come off easily.)
Skin and core the pepper. Blend in a food processor.
Add the beans and seasonings, blend.
Then slowly drizzle in olive oil while processor is running. I also add a few tablespoons of warm water after the oil to thin out the consistency of the hummus. Once the hummus is blended and smooth, scoop into a bowl and serve.
It's amazing how quickly a can of chick peas turns into yummy dip.
This made 1 3/4 cups of hummus.
$1 pepper + $0.69 chick peas + estimated $0.30 for other ingredients =
$1.99 for 14 oz. (or 14.2 cents per ounce)
Compare to $3.00 for 10oz (or 30 cents per ounce)
It costs twice as much per ounce to buy hummus from the store. Granted, adding the price of tahini paste would up the cost of homemade hummus, but taking out the red pepper would also reduce the price.
I make hummus about once a month, sometimes more, so we'll say 14 times a year.
196 ounces of hummus per year from the store: $60
196 ounces of hummus per year of homemade: $27.86
That saves you $32 a year!
If that hasn't convinced you, look at how much your children will enjoy eating hummus.
Connor's favorite lunch: cold leftover rice, hummus, apple slices.
And sometimes a hot dog thrown in there.