Healthy Homemade Hummus

1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 to 1 tsp. ground cumin (optional) *
1 tsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium tamari (low-sodium soy
          sauce works fine too) (optional) *
3 Tbsp. water or vegetable broth, as needed
Dash Mrs. Dash Table Blend (optional) **

Blend all the ingredients into a thick paste, using a small amount of
water as necessary to achieve desired consistency.  Makes 1   cups.

Variations: Customize by adding one or more of the following:
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 roasted, seeded, and chopped red bell pepper
1 cup fresh spinach
Several chopped green onions
1/4-1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/8 to 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
1/2 pkg. Melissa's Peeled and Steamed Ready to Eat Baby Beets,

Serving suggestion: Spread a thick layer inside a pita. Top
with cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded carrots, squash, really any
veggies you have on hand would work. Serve with a side of canned
black-eyed peas (drained and rinsed) warmed in water or veggie
broth and topped with some hot sauce.

From THE ENGINE 2 DIET by Rip Esselstyn. c2009.
*McDougall recipe does not include this item.
** McDougall recipe includes "dash sea salt." Esselstyn recipe
does not.

NOTE: Other pita vegetables are baby spinach and roasted red
peppers. To change the hummus flavor, leave out the cumin and
add 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika and 1 1/2 tsp. hot sauce.