Homemade Hummus & Collard Wraps: Cheaper, Tastier, and Healthier (Recipe)

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After getting bored with my usual overly salty store-bought tub o' hummus, which is one of the only varieties around that's made without added oils (read this scholarly rant by Dr. Joel Fuhrman to see why I shun all extracted oils --- including olive and coconut --- whenever possible), I recently began experimenting with some homemade hummus recipes.

Last week, I stumbled upon two that are way too good not to share. So here they are. The first uses an atypical bean and packs a zesty Indian curry kick. The second melds Mediterranean flavor with a hint of key lime. I encourage you to make large batches, because these creamy, nutrient-dense, high-protein, high-fiber, high-flavor spreads are bound to disappear fast. Read on after the two hummus recipes for a healthful, low-calorie, nutrient-packed, and cool-looking wrap idea, starring good old-fashioned collard greens.

Spinach-Curry Cannelini Hummus

1 can low-sodium cannelini beans
1/2 can low-sodium garbanzos
2 cups packed organic baby spinach
2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon curry powder

What to do:
Layer ingredients in your Nutribullet, Vitamix, food processor, or high-powered blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. You might have to pause the machine to stir a few times to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly blended. If your blender refuses to do the job, add a tablespoon or two of water to the mix to encourage its cooperation.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Kale Hummus

2 cans low-sodium chickpeas, mostly drained (you can leave a little liquid to make blending easier)
4 sun-dried tomatoes (dehydrated and packed dry, not packed in oil)
2 tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic (more or less to taste)
1 handful fresh organic kale leaves
dash key lime juice
3 tablespoons water

What to do:
Put a third of the beans in your Nutribullet, Vitamix, food processor, or high-powered blender. Add in fractions of the other ingredients (except water!) and the remaining beans in layers until they're all in the blender cup. Blend on high until smooth. If your blender seems to be choking on the concoction, add water a tablespoon at a time and stir before trying to blend again.

Whole Collard Green Leaves Make Ultra-Chic, Wheat-Free, Nature-Made Wraps
Whether you're gluten-sensitive, trying to cut calories, or just looking to add more greens to your diet, using whole collard leaves as an alternative to traditional wheat-based wraps is something I highly recommend. Ranked as one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the ANDI scale, collards are rich in antioxidants; vitamins A, K, C, B-6, and B-2; and minerals such as calcium, manganese, and folate.

To make these wraps, first lay out a large collard leaf and smoosh the spine of the leaf with the back of a spoon. If the stalk is very dense, shave it down with a pairing knife, being careful not to nick the leaf itself. These two steps will make rolling easier. Then take 1/2 cup of your favorite homemade hummus and spread a thick layer from the center of the leaf outward, stopping one inch from the edges. Roll the leaf tightly from "head" to "foot," pin with a toothpick, slice in half, and serve. (For a more elegant wrap, try the method featured here.)

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