Food First: Show Yourself some Love with Healthy Snacks


Every year when February rolls around I think about Valentine’s Day and I think about love. I send gratitude for all of the amazing people I get to work with and I think about ways to nurture and love those around me. I also look for ways to nurture myself, with a good night of sleep, a walk outside, doing things with people I enjoy and, of course, with good food!

One of the biggest shifts I made in my own health journey is to surround myself with good food choices. I have a bowl of fruit on the table and lots of veggies in the fridge that I cut up each weekend, so that they are easy to grab and munch on. I also love to make hummus as a dip for those veggies and as a spread for wraps. It’s a great way to get protein and fiber, plus it tastes amazing! I got this recipe (based on a Cooks Illustrated recipe) from my friend and client who always has a fabulous recipe or dish to share.

1/4 cup plus one tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup tahini (be sure to mix well!)
2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
14 oz. can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves – minced or pressed
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Generous pinch of cayenne
Garnishes: sliced scallions, toasted pine nuts, Olive oil

  1. Combine lemon juice and water in a small measuring cup.
  2. Whisk tahini and olive oil in another small measuring cup (whisking to a smooth consistency is a very important step!)
  3. In a food processor bowl, combine chickpeas, garlic, salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne, and process until almost completely ground (scrape bowl as necessary). While the machine is running, add the lemon juice/water mixture in a slow, steady stream, process for at least a minute until well-combined and then scrape down the bowl. With the machine running, add the tahini/olive oil mixture in a slow, steady stream until mixture is well combined and creamy — this will take an additional 20 seconds to one minute (scrape bowl as needed.) Note: I have tried to make this in the Vitamix®, but it doesn’t work nearly as well as a food processor for grinding — also, since the Vitamix generates a lot of heat, it tends to convert the olive oil, and turns it quite bitter.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl, and top with garnishes, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to combine, drizzle with olive oil, and serve. If not using immediately, cover hummus with plastic wrap, and refrigerate separately from the garnishes. When ready to serve, stir in a tablespoon or so of water, if the texture is too thick. Makes about 2 cups.
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Nutrition Julie
Nutrition Julie is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Raw Food Nutrition Educator who is passionate about Nutrition, Health and Wellness. Julie believes that real, whole, nutritious foods are a powerful tool in living a healthy, conscious, disease-free life and works to educate, inspire and empower the people she works with through her step-by-step Food First System. For more information, visit


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