Your favorite nutrient legume paste

Peanut butter, hummus, black bean dip–these are among my favorite foods. They just about never blow me away with their exquisite subtlety of flavor, but they’re reasonably healthy, reasonably tasty, and super convenient. And I can call them nutrient legume pastes, which sounds nasty, and because I’m a bit of a culinary pervert that makes them even more appealing.

What are your favorites? Remember:

Nutrient: chocolate frosting doesn’t count, it’s gotta be a reasonable source of nutrition. Fermented black bean paste doesn’t count, it’s an ingredient, not a major source of nutrition. Don’t get pedantic about that.
Legume: Baba ganoush is delicious, but eggplants aren’t legumes. Same with almond butter.
Paste: It’s gotta be spreadable. Soy sauce doesn’t count.

Whatcha got?

Refried beans! (And all the other ones you mentioned.)

I came on here to mention the mouth-orgasmic joy that is sunflower-seed butter.

But after reading the small print I guess I’d have to go with high-end crunchy PB, then hummus.

Homemade Hummus - canned chickpeas, half a bunch of cilantro, juice and zest of 1-2 limes (size and freshness vary), 2-3 roasted hatch chilies, 2-3 cloves of garlic, tablespoon of olive oil, salt to taste. Top with sliced green onions if I want to make it look nice.

That sounds great! The recipe I use is this one, sometimes with smoked paprika if I want a little baba ganoush flavor. Super straightforward recipe, but the “leave it in the food processor for a ridiculously long time” technique has really upped my hummus game.

Also, when I went to google the recipe, the first suggestion was “Can ferrets eat hummus?” which tells me my third grader has been using the computer again.

Thanks, it’s very popular with my friends and family. But the reason hummus is my favorite nutrient legume paste (I’m stealing that btw) is that it is so easy to customize to your personal tastes. Most other such pastes are utterly dominated by the prime ingredient (such as nut/legume butters or various refried beans), but chickpeas will play well as a supporting character.

As an example, my second favorite hummus is this Asian-inspired one: can of chickpeas, one whole green onion (sliced), 1 thumb (roughly 1 inch) peeled and chopped fresh ginger, garlic cloves (2-3 for me), 1 or more tablespoons soy sauce (a good dark one is best for me), 1 tablespoon (or more) rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil (or more).

But really, again, you can pick something that meets your needs (taste or nutritional) and almost always have something nice. I look upon the people in the deli aisle in the supermarket buying premade hummus with horrible judgey eyes and pity.

I just noticed that those recipes don’t have tahini. Weird–I’d worry that’d make it too light, without the nice roasty oily richness that tahini brings. I see the sesame oil, but 1 tablespoon doesn’t seem like much.

Still and all, I’m 100% trying that.

I regularly use several of them, but my #1 favorite is still peanut butter. And I don’t mean abominations like Skippy, but just plain ground peanuts (plain or crunchy) and salt.

I don’t use tahini based hummus because it’s a waste for me. I never used it unless I made hummus (the taste profile doesn’t work for me in the dishes I like, just a me thing) - and spending $5.99 for a small jar at the store and never using 90% of it just felt wasteful.

As for the olive oil, I always try to go light because I want the other flavors and textures to show off more, and I’m less in love with the oily mouthfeel. Having said that, my chosen recipes of course are going to self-select for non-tahini, lighter oil varieties! And they’re guidelines of course, depending on the dryness of the ingredients, or how well it’s coming together (or not coming together) of course I’d add more oil. Or after the first taste test and adjustment. :slight_smile:

@panache45 - my wife is 100% in agreement with you. She normally get’s the Trader Joe’s all natural creamy peanut butter and right after it comes home she aggressively stirs it to get the perfect consistency. She just won’t let herself get it often, because she’ll just eat it all with a spoon. In less than 3 days. :man_shrugging:

Yeah, for me it just ain’t hummus without the tahini. The main tips that really upped my hummus game is the extra long time in the food processor trick mentioned above (like 6 minutes or so, with some ice to cool it down)
and to take the time to skin the chickpeas. I don’t do anything else special. Olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic. I’m pretty straightforward.

https://youtu.be/88ljbueBLBw

My wife makes awesome hummus.
She always says “I think I used too much garlic,” and I always reply “That’s impossible.”

Mushed peas on toast! Ok, I’ve never had that but I wanted to feel like I could add something new.

I’d say my favorite is when those refried beans from the taqueria are just right. A little salt, some lime juice, maybe a drop or two of the house salsa, so good. It isn’t always a slam dunk but when they’re on…

But I make hummus most often. My base is straight from the tahini jar label. Chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt. Blend until smooth, finish with ‘the good’ olive oil and some chopped parsley. I can take or leave paprika; if I use it, it’s mostly for color. I’ve been known to blend in a fat pinch of microplaned lemon zest, really good but easy to over do. I also like blending in some canned (plain in water, not marinated) artichoke hearts. The canning liquid from the hearts is also awesome to add in if it’s too thick.

For me, French-Canadian pea soup, with a couple caveats.

First, technically, it’s probably more of a slurry than a paste. A thin paste, I suppose.

You need split yellow peas, some stock (classically chicken stock but any will do depending on your taste), a hamhock if you want some extra umami, vegetable bits (if you want), and flavours (cloves are classic, but you do you).

It takes maybe an hour, tops, at a low simmer. If you cook for longer/harder, the peas disintegrate into the nutrition paste you’re seeking.

Peanut butter. My preferred is Skippy Super Chunk, but I used to eat an all-natural peanut butter, too (can’t remember the brand), which was tasty, but needed to be stored in the fridge, and needed to be stirred up from time to time, as the oil would separate.

How about the sweetened bean paste filling in Asian pastries? I had some dim sum with it the other day.

Crunchy peanut butter is a favorite. So is roasted garlic hummus (although I find the Sabra brand way too heavy on whatever the acidic ingredient is). That sweetened bean paste needscoffee mentioned is good too. Can’t go wrong with refried beans, either.

I always find it a challenge to choose ONE favorite out of a broad category, since what works best for me varies by circumstance.

Agreed that it ain’t hummus without tahini. When I first started making my own hummus there was clearly something missing until I got myself a jar and added a good sized spoonful.

And another vote for retried beans.

Yeah, it kind of is in the definition of hummus that it has tahini. The full name in Arabic is hummus bi-t tahina. Make it how you want, but chickpeas and sesame paste I feel are the defining qualities of hummus. Otherwise, you just have mashed chickpeas (which can be good, too, but I have been so disappointed in the past ordering hummus at a non-Mediterranean restaurant and getting something without tahini in it. Just call it something else or call it hummus without tahini.)

And, yea, for me, don’t go crazy on the garlic. I like garlic but there definitely is too much of a good thing.

Cashew nut butter is good.

Adzuki paste? I’ve made it at home to make homemade sesame balls (still dialing it in though). While texture wise it’s probably closer to refried beans (it’s very firm compared to hummus or peanut butter but much thinner that split pea soup), I see no reason it wouldn’t count - although it edges more into the OP’s ‘ingredient’ exception. While the default has an incredibly mild sweetness, the ones used in most dishes seen in the US have so much added sugar I’d almost rate them as ‘jam’. The unsweetened options would certainly qualify though they still normally seem used as a condiment or ingredient.