Creamy toasted pine-nut houmous

On my current gut-rebuild programme, which excludes all grains, chickpeas have taken centre-stage and I’ve been eating houmous with gay abandon only to remember the other day that houmous contains sesame (in the form of tahini) to which, it turns out, I am very intolerant.  

I’ve been wanting to make my own houmous in any case, as it’s cheaper and a lot less processed than the shop-bought variety (and of course saves on plastic packaging).

I had the idea to replace that tasty nuttiness that tahini so deliciously provides with one of my all-time flavours, toasted pine-nuts. We toast a lot of nuts in our house. I’m always amazed that 10 minutes in the oven can turn something blandly pleasant (pine-nuts, hazelnuts and pistachios in particular) into crazily moreish morsels that my 6 year old daughter goes insane for. I like dry-roasting my own nuts as the supermarket “roasted “varieties are actually often fried in nasty, inflammatory vegetable oils.  

In any case, this houmous takes 5 minutes to make.


400g tin of chickpeas

A large fistful of pine nuts

A good glug of extra virgin olive oil or hemp oil

A generous pinch of sea-salt

Juice of ½ – 1 lemon, to taste


Toast the pine nuts gently by either putting them in a dry roasting tin in the oven for a few minutes (keep checking for a light golden colour), or by heating them in a dry frying pan over a low heat – keep jiggling the pan.

Put all the ingredients in a Nutri-Bullet or blender and blend. I find it quite hard work using the Nutri-Bullet as the mixture is quite thick, but short bursts and good shakes tend to do the trick.

I love this topped with cumin / paprika / salt / lemon juice or extra hemp oil (keep it cold in the fridge so it doesn’t destabilize).

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