Sweeten Up Your Hummus By Swapping The Tahini For Peanut Butter

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A simple, creamy hummus recipe only requires a few ingredients: chickpeas, salt, lemon juice, olive oil, and tahini. That last component is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, oil, and salt, and it brings an earthy, mildly nutty flavor to the hummus. While it's a staple in classic versions of the dip, there's no rule saying you have to include it. If you'd like to whip up a sweeter version of your favorite spread, swap out the tahini for peanut butter.

You may be wondering if chickpeas and peanut butter will taste good together. If you're a fan of these flavors separately, there's a good chance you'll enjoy them paired up. Together they create a sweet and savory combo that has a more elevated profile than you'd expect. Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson explained the unlikely pairing well in her cookbook "Nigella Kitchen" by saying, "Peanut butter hummus doesn't have an elegant ring to it, but elegant is exactly what it is ... It is gorgeously filling, but without the slight clagginess that tahini can give." As such, peanut butter will still bring the oil that tahini usually provides to yield a smooth consistency, but you'll get a stronger, sweeter flavor with the ingredient swap.

How to make peanut butter hummus

If you're ready to swap your tahini with peanut butter, here's what to do. Grab a natural peanut butter if possible, which is ideal because all that good oil has separated out from the rest of the spread, so it will blend more seamlessly with the other ingredients. If you don't have a jar of the natural kind, any smooth peanut butter will work. Just keep in mind that sweetened or flavored versions (like with honey, for example) will alter the flavor of your hummus. You'll typically want to use less peanut butter than you would tahini since it has a stronger flavor, so try about 2 tablespoons per 15 ounce can of chickpeas. You can always taste it and add more later if needed.

Besides the typical hummus ingredients, feel free to throw in anything that will help your dip lean either sweet or savory. Honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon will create a dessert-like spread, while lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger will make it taste more like a tangy peanut sauce. To go in another savory direction, add in spices like cumin, paprika, and chili powder. The extra sweet version would be delicious spread on toast, dolloped on oats and yogurt bowls, or used as a dip for sliced fruit; while the savory sweet hummus is perfect for veggies, chips, and flatbread. Whichever way you go, you'll get a sweeter spread just by adding in a little peanut butter.