When the food processor was introduced in the 1970s, it suddenly made difficult or time-consuming recipes so much easier. The fast blades combine ingredients in just seconds.

Hummus is a perfect example – this creamy spread is made with pureed chickpeas, tahini (which is like peanut butter but is made from sesame seeds), lemon juice, and spices. Before the food processor, you had to beat these ingredients by hand. It was tough work turning chickpeas (a member of the bean family) into a smooth puree. The food processor makes hummus, and many other recipes, much easier and faster to prepare. Talk about a tasty invention.

Serve with baby carrots, slices of cucumber, whole cherry tomatoes, crackers or pita chips. Have the kids help you with this recipe.

HUMMUS

Servings 6

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons lemon juice, squeezed from 1 lemon

2 tablespoons tahini (stirred well before measuring)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas

1 garlic clove, peeled

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

In liquid measuring cup, stir together water, lemon juice, tahini, and oil.

Set colander in sink. Open can of chickpeas and pour into colander. Rinse chickpeas with cold water and shake colander to drain well.

Transfer chickpeas to food processor. Add garlic, salt, and cumin to food processor and lock lid into place. Process mixture for 10 seconds.

Stop food processor, remove lid, and scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Lock lid back into place and process until mixture is coarsely ground, about 5 seconds.

With processor running, slowly pour water mixture through feed tube until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.

Stop food processor. Carefully remove food processor blade. Transfer hummus to small bowl. Serve. (Leftover hummus can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Before serving, stir in 1 tablespoon warm water to loosen hummus.)

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