bulk beans

Last year, I wrote a blog post entitled “7 Foods to Make Not Buy.” (You can read that here.) In that short list I included:

  1. Vanilla extract
  2. Bread crumbs
  3. Beans
  4. Chocolate syrup
  5. Sour cream
  6. Nut butters
  7. Booze

I’d like to add another recipe to this list: hummus.

If you’ve just set out on the plastic-free and zero-waste path, and you love hummus, mostly likely you’ll have to make it. Where I live, grocery stores carry hummus only in plastic tubs. Fortunately, you can whip up a batch in minutes (after you’ve cooked the chickpeas…). Simply whir your ingredients in a food processor and slowly add olive oil. Voilà. Plastic-free hummus.

To cook chickpeas, either:

chickpeas soaking
Dry bulk chickpeas (left) and soaked chickpeas (right) ready to cook in the pressure cooker (I love my pressure cooker…)

If you cook extra chickpeas you can freeze them either with or without liquid in glass jars to use later. To thaw, just transfer the jars of frozen beans to the refrigerator the night before you plan on using them. For this post, I used previously frozen chickpeas just to prove that it can be done. The hummus I made has a creamy texture and tastes delicious—no freezer funk.

Freeze chickpeas in glass either with or without liquid
Yes you can freeze food in glass jars. Leave an inch or two of headspace.

I’m able to buy chickpeas and even tahini in bulk. The lemons come from my yard. I buy olive oil either in bulk in glass jars I bring to the store or my boss picks up a half-gallon jug of it for me when she visits Napa. I reuse the jugs for brewing kombucha or ginger beer. They cost several dollars new at a wine and beer brewing shop.

hummus ingredients
Hummus ingredients

My daughter created this recipe several years ago for her blog, The Plastic-Free Chef. It goes well with sourdough crackers. Enjoy!

Ready to eat



  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 clove peeled garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic to a food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. While the food processor is running, slowly pour in olive oil. Process until all the oil is mixed in and the hummus is smooth.
  3. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
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8 Comment

  1. I love making hummus! Great article 🙂

  2. Camille says: Reply

    This is really awesome and I’m excited to integrate your ideas into my hummus making! But one thing that has always worried me about some zero waste cooking – such as simmering stock or cooking chickpees on the stove for several hours — does that use a lot of gas, possibly negating the effects of reducing packaging?

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      A pressure cooker is the answer. I love mine. It cooks soaked beans in mere minutes. I got mine second-hand to boot!

      1. Camille says:

        Thanks so much! I’m not very “anchored” at the moment and so can’t accumulate too many appliances – but maybe at some point in the future I’ll nab a pressure cooker second hand. I’ll try to find an alternative way to make hummus in the meantime!

  3. Amber says: Reply

    I’m excited to try this, thanks for the non-intimidating recipe!

  4. Great post and I checked out your daughters blog too. This is the direction I’m heading and love all this information.

  5. Alisa says: Reply

    I love hummus and started making it on my own a while back, too. I also love your chocolate syrup recipe, by the way. I have a jar of it in my fridge right now, mostly for hot chocolate.

  6. Maureen Pegg says: Reply

    I will try this recipe. I love hummus and do make it, but I always make way, way too much because I never could figure out how many dried garbanzo beans to use. This looks simple and will make the right amount for our two person family. Thanks!

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