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Hummus is a chickpea-sesame dip that works really well on a  sandwich or with veggies.  It is also a good source of  vegetarian protein and fiber. It is rich in monounsaturated fat,  if  made with olive oil.  Hummus also contains calcium, iron,  magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and a few other trace minerals. It  contains a little of the B vitamins, including a good  amount of folic acid and a little vitamin A.

Most people buy hummus in the store and get a bunch of preservatives and artificial ingredients with their chickpea dip. I  make my hummus myself, since I spent quite a few years in Israel, where hummus is eaten every day and the standards for hummus are quite high.  Very few recipes are as easy as the homemade hummus one.

My hummus can be fed to babies, because its protein will help them grow and all of its ingredients are completely natural.  Older children love dipping veggie sticks and crackers into the hummus. You can cook your chickpeas or use canned ones, if pressed for time. You can add things to hummus to keep the dip new and exciting every day: adding whole chickpeas to the finished hummus gives it an interesting texture, cilantro or parsley or chives or garlic or even curry or paprika or pesto sauce change its flavor. Mashed carrots or sweet potatoes add sweetness, while avocado makes it more subtle-tasting. You can even be as adventurous as I am sometimes, making this hummus into a completely different dish altogether, using white beans, instead of chickpeas.

Ingredients:

2 cups of cooked or canned chickpeas

1/3 cup tahini paste

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4- 1/3 cup of olive oil

Sea salt to taste

Process everything in a blender until smooth and taste. Some people like their hummus to have a more pronounced sesame flavor (add tahini) and some want its consistency to be more liquid ( add 1/4 cup warm water.) Add the spices I mentioned above if you feel like it and serve on a plate with some more olive oil, poured on top (but not mixed in.) You can also serve it with a pinch of paprika on top. Hummus can stay fresh in the fridge for about 4 days.

 

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This snack is nutritious and super easy.  Kids love it and it’s not junk food! I like to cut corners by using precut carrot slices, but, obviously you can slice your own carrots. I like to double up the recipe and keep the leftover chips in an air-tight container. Unfortunately they don’t stay there for too long: way too yummy!

 Ingredients:

6 cups round thin carrot slices

5 tbsp. olive oil

Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange the carrots on a baking tray. sprinkle the oil and the salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the carrots begin to get slightl brown around the edges.

 

This yummy vegan sandwich is easy to make and easy to enjoy. I use it as a way to get more vegetables into those that wouldn’t ordinarily eat vegetables (kids?)  Sun-dried tomato pesto and avocado mix create a delicious, almost Italian flavor, which easily masks all of the greens and the sprouts in the sandwich.

Makes two sandwiches:

Ingredients:

Whole wheat bread, toasted -4 slices

Sundried tomato pesto 5-6 teaspoons

Green leaves 1 cup

Sprouts (optional)  1/2 cup

Tomato, sliced 1 small

Avocado, sliced -1 small

Grated carrots – 1/2 cup

Cucumber, sliced -1 small

Fresh basil leaves -to taste

optional: sliced tofu, hummous, regular pesto

salt, pepper to taste

Spread the sun-dried tomato pesto on the toasted bread. If using other spreads, such as regular pesto or hummus, spread those on one slice, while the sun-dried tomato pesto is on the other one. Pile everything else on top of the bread and close the sandwich with the other piece of bread. Slice in half and enjoy.

There is always something low-fat, low-calorie happening in the world of “healthy” snacks. I prefer foods that are natural, especially, since my oldest kid is likely to want to nibble on what I am eating. I found this amazing alternative to potato chips: roasted seaweed. It’s low-calorie , nutrient-dense and cheap!  What else can a healthy mama ask for? Oh, for her two year old to stop devouring her seaweed!

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