“Part detective tale, part thriller…touching and genuine.” —The New York Times #1 bestselling author Stephen King returns with a brand-new novel about the secrets we keep buried and the cost of unearthing them.
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence is a daily devotional book written by Christian author Sarah Young and published by Integrity Publishers, based in Brentwood, TN. Two years later in September 2006 Integrity, along with its catalog of books, including "Jesus Calling", were bought by Thomas Nelson
You may have run across a post or two during your internet searches that boast of Intermittent Fasting (IF) discussing the pros and cons of adopting this lifestyle.
I know once I began my quest with a fibromyalgia diagnosis, weight loss, fatigue, aches and pains have become an ingrained part of my daily life. I also note that diets come and go, offering a few morsels of hope as a couple of pounds whittle away.
But I also can't help but wonder if eating small meals utilizing healthy meal plans is enough. I was faced with a recent conversation with my specialist ARNP. Who simply stated, "A good diet plan is essential for cardiac health. Things such as snacking, candy, sweets should be avoided at all cost."
So I became frustrated and told her of my diet plan. She looked aimlessly down and said, "Well, those berries in the morning could be avoided with your pea protein powder shake. Even the peas could be high in carbs."
"I put in 2 strawberries in my shake and 1/4 cup of blueberries. Would you like me to take it down to one strawberry? Pea protein power is very low in carbs by the way," I added sarcastically.
"Well, clearly what your doing is not enough for you metabolism. I understand your frustration. Have you ever heard of Intermittent Fasting?"
So, I looked it up. And I though to myself, "I do this on weekends anyway. I fast at least 13 hours before eating my first meal in the morning. What if I included another day to give it a try?"
But that wouldn't be enough. I'd need an app with some visual support. Something easy to use. Something free to try. I searched through 10 different apps that cost exorbitant fees. I didn't want to pay for something until I tried it. Things have a tendency not to work as planned when you have fibromyalgia. I don't want to be stuck with a big bill, and I didn't want to get a FREE trial that I may forget about in four days. I came across life app.
Free to use, easy to read. One click you set your fast. One click to watch the Ketones burn.
I began searching for more information on this plan. And here was Dr. Courtney Craig with her personal journey:
"Intermittent fasting has been crucial in my long-lasting CFS recovery."
The pleasure of eating good tasting food is undeniable, but food can have a dark side for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM).
Food! Could avoiding it at times help with ME/CFS and FM?
Digesting food, for one thing, takes work – lots of it. In energy-depleted disorders like ME/CFS and FM the energy that goes into digestion could conceivably have been used for healing.
If you have blood volume issues, eating can cause your blood to rush to your stomach leaving you depleted elsewhere. The cramping, bloating and other gut issues common in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS take their toll as well.
Dr. Cheney once wryly said that if only ME/CFS patients didn’t have to eat they would get a lot better. Eating small meals is definitely the way to go for many people with these disorders, but what about occasionally cutting out meals altogether? Would that help?
Dr. Craig on Fasting
Dr. Courtney Craig, D.C., a former Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patient, asserted in a recent blog “Cellular Spring Cleaning: Intermittent Fasting for CFS” that it can. In fact she found that intermittent fasting helped her avoid relapses and stated it has been ‘crucial’ in her long term recovery.
That got my attention. I’ve tried fasting before. It definitely helped before it wiped me out, but Dr. Craig’s fasts are nothing like the fasts I tried. Her quickie ‘made for ME/CFS and FM’ type fasts last 8-12 hours and start after an early dinner and end with a late breakfast around noon. Fasting while you sleep is an idea I can get my head around.
Instead of doing them for days, you do short fasts once or twice a week. I’m definitely going to give them a try. Fasting fits my favorite criteria for treatments: it’s cheap – in fact, you save money doing it – and you can do it from home.
Dr. Craig warns that people with uncontrolled hypoglycemia, adrenal fatigue, or thyroid problems could have problems with intermittent fasting.
Find out more about Dr. Craig’s ME/CFS and FM fasting protocol including what kinds of ‘foods’ to eat to get you through the fast in her blog “Cellular Spring Cleaning: Intermittent Fasting For CFS“.
I was eager to learn more.
Dr. Courtney Craig (DC) on Intermittent Fasting in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Simply by avoiding meals for 12-18 hours periodically I have been able to stave off relapse and even “bad days.” – Dr. Courtney Craig
When do you know if should break a fast? I have heard of fasters having to go through a kind of rough period before their body adjusts, but are there any signs that signal it’s time to cut short a fast even if you haven’t gotten to the 8-12 hour mark? What if you’re feeling great at noon the next day? Your energy is up and your desire for food is gone – what about continuing further?
I can’t stress this enough: I don’t recommend intermittent fasting until the individual has switched over to a low carbohydrate, nutrient-dense diet for at least 3 months or longer. It is vital to first stabilize blood sugar (insulin) and leptin levels. Otherwise, fasts for 8-18+ hours will feel like starvation and can seriously tax already fatigued adrenal glands and disrupt normal thyroid function.
It’s important to keep well-hydrated when you’re fasting
It is also vital to continue to drink water while fasting. Those with POTS or hypotension may also need to replenish electrolytes.
Fasting is very much an individual experience where some will be able to go for longer periods than others. If you can’t fast for 24 hours, 14-16 hours may still have a beneficial effect. It’s important to just be aware of how you feel while fasting, take in adequate liquids, and not exceed your limits. Monitoring blood pressure may also be a good idea during fasts. I encourage working closely with a nutritionist or clinician who is familiar with intermittent fasting.
When should you break the fast? A good rule of thumb in my opinion is to only eat when you’re hungry. Hunger hormones like leptin and ghrelin tightly regulate appetite. However, in individuals who eat a high carbohydrate diet (standard American diet) leptin resistance can occur. Blood sugar quickly drops with leptin resistance resulting in hypoglycemia and severe hunger pangs.
What about that last dinner? Should it consist of extra protein? Do you have any recommendations?
An early dinner that is low in carbohydrates (primarily coming from vegetables) with moderate protein and high in healthy fat is my usual dinner. Loading up on carbohydrates before a fast may seem like the logical thing to do since carbs are stored as glycogen (similar to how athletes carb-load before a race), but this defeats the purpose of the entire fast. In order to get the cellular benefits of fasting, one must deplete glycogen stores and burn fat as fuel through a process known as ketosis.
Insulin needs to be kept very, very low to promote the creation of ATP from fats and not glucose.
Sometimes it does go better with butter …
Ketosis can be measured easily using urine test strips to look for ketone bodies. One ketone in particular, β-hydroxybutyrate, is beneficial to mitochondria. It acts as an antioxidant and increases gene expression of oxidative stress resistance factors (5).
This important discovery potentially creates a “biohack” for intermittent fasting—a simple trick I use if I get hungry during a fast. In theory, as long as you can remain in ketosis (fat burning mode), consumption during a fast will not undo the beneficial effects. This can be achieved by eating small amounts of quality fat (I like coconut butter or butter coffee/tea) which will have little effect on insulin levels, maintain ketosis, and tide you over for another few hours before breaking the fast.
You stated that fasting has helped you avoid relapses. Are there times when you were not doing well that you thought, “This is time to give my body a break and do a short fast”?
Fasting has helped Dr. Craig to limit the duration of her flares
Even in getting my CFS under control after 15 years, I am not immune to the occasional flare-up when I get lazy about diet/supplements or have a lot of stress in my life. Every so often if I feel my symptoms returning or a cold coming on I will focus on trying to do a 14-16 hour fast to boost my immune system. With that (and the combination of diet/supplements) my flares are usually only 1-2 days in duration.
However, in general I try to fast at least once or twice per week for maintenance. I have noticed that I’m much more resilient to stress, poor sleep, and have far less post-exertional malaise. I’m now able to go for long walks (4-5 miles), do basic strength training, lecture for 7 hours, and bustle around NYC without the usual soul-crushing fatigue.
My sister can go on week-long lemon juice fasts and end them up feeling great! When I’ve fasted in the past I’ve always experienced times when the world just seems brighter. My mental clarity is increased, my body feels better, but even if I’m drinking protein shakes I can’t fast for more than a day and half without feeling like I’m going to fall apart. Why can she whip off a week while I’m struggling after a day?
I can’t fast for 24 hours either—at least I’ve never buckled down and tried it. In theory, I believe the effect can be the same with more frequent, shorter duration fasts. I could only guess why it’s easy for her and not you … maybe her diet is lower in carbohydrates? Higher in good fats? Could be related to hunger hormones as well?
How did you get into fasting? I’ve tried it intermittently, but I don’t know if I’ve ever heard it discussed with regard to ME/CFS or FM. It, however, became an important of your treatment plan. How did you find out about it?
Caloric restriction (fasting) has long been understood to reduce oxidative stress and slow mechanisms of aging in various organisms, but only recently have the biological reasons for this begun to be understood. The effects of fasting are believed to be controlled by the sirtuin family of proteins. The seven known mammalian sirtuin proteins control a variety of functions including aging, programmed cell death (apoptosis), transcription, cellular energy efficiency, mitochondrial biogenesis, antioxidant mechanisms, and circadian rhythm.
I had the opportunity last spring to attend the International Conference on Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine where the theme was mitochondrial health. In attendance was Matt Hirschey, PhD, who has authored several landmark papers that demonstrate that the cellular benefits of fasting are due to the effects it has on sirtuin proteins, specifically SIRT1 and SIRT3 (1); (fig. 2).
Fasting promotes the supply of antioxidants that protect against free radicals
SIRT1 stimulates receptors that up-regulate antioxidant molecules (glutathione), increase mitochondrial mass, and inhibit NF-kB—a very important transcription factor that promotes inflammatory cytokines and is implicated in CFS pathogenesis (2). SIRT3 is located within the mitochondria where it also stimulates antioxidant molecules to reduce oxidative stress.
However, new research has also shown that fasting dramatically affects the immune system as well. Scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) found that 2 to 4 day fasts significantly reduced white blood cell counts in humans as well as mice. In the mice group that fasted for 72 hours, stem-cell based regeneration of immune cells occurred. The USC group concluded that fasting may be a viable option to lower the toxicity of chemotherapy in cancer patients by bolstering the immune system with healthy cells (3). I’m intrigued that fasting may have a similar effect to the drug Rituximab which acts by eliminating dysfunctional B lymphocytes and indirectly stimulates the production of new lymphocytic stem cells from bone marrow.
The nutrition naysayers shudder at the idea of voluntary caloric restriction. We are taught that caloric restriction can disrupt hormone balance, stress the adrenals, weaken the immune system, and even result in excessive oxidative stress.
But I was then introduced to the notion of hormesis, a pharmacological concept that indicates that, where a dose-dependent curve is present, low doses of an agent can have the opposite effect of high doses of an agent. This led me to have a broader understanding of caloric restriction at a practical level.
In the mitochondria this theory is termed mitohormesis, where small amounts of oxidative stress are protective and lead to resilience to further oxidative stress. Hirschey and others predict this resilience is produced when SIRT proteins are stimulated during fasting (2). Fasting thus appears to build a cellular resiliency which is lost when the hormetic threshold is exceeded. Since ME/CFS is defined by chronic oxidative stress, building cellular resiliency could potentially help undo that vicious cycle to improve energy production.
Your blog suggested that during fasting your body gets rid of damaged mitochondria and that clears the way for new mitochondria to be produced. Is that correct?
Removing damaged mitochondria provides room for new healthier mitochondria to show up
Fasting leads to mitochondrial autophagy (self-eating), also known as mitophagy, where genes are stimulated in the mitochondria to undergo apoptosis and destruction by intracellular enzymes. Death and destruction of the cell’s energy factories may seem like a bad idea at first, but when those factories are already damaged by chronic oxidative stress, a bit of remodeling is extremely beneficial.
From my understanding it is not completely understood how mitophagy is controlled, but studies have shown that insulin suppresses mitophagy while glucagon stimulates it. So during fasting, insulin is kept very low and glucagon is elevated which leads to mitochondrial recovery. (4)
Dr. Courtney Craig used traditional and integrative therapies to recover from ME/CFS
Dr. Courtney Craig was first diagnosed with CFS as a teen in 1998, and recovered in 2010 utilizing both conventional and integrative medicine. Trained as a doctor of chiropractic and nutritionist, she now provides nutrition consulting and blogs about what she’s learned on her website.
Sensory deprivation tank float centers are popping up all over the United States and Europe, especially in urban areas where the demand for holistic healing surges. According to annual official Float Tank Industry reports, the U.S. was home to more than 300 float centers in 2015, up from about 85 in 2011, and the trend continues to grow.
Whether referred to as sensory deprivation tanks, float tanks or simply as “floating,” deprivation therapy treatments have earned a reputation for naturally easing many ailments.
Floaters report sensory deprivation tank benefits that include reduced insomnia, anxiety and depression, plus relief from chronic pain and even addictions. The beauty in all of this: These reported benefits are possible without a doctor’s visit, breaking a sweat or filling any prescriptions.
What Is a Sensory Deprivation Tank?Sensory deprivation is achieved through floating in a type of isolation tank that cuts off all sources of sensory experience: sound, sight, smell and touch.
Another way that floating is referred to in research studies is “restricted environmental stimulation technique,” or floating-REST.
What does floating in a deprivation tank do — or feel like? Proponents of floating told the the New York Times that a session can make you practically feel like an astronaut, saying “it’s something you can never experience otherwise.”
Float tanks (or sensory deprivation chambers) that are used for inducing sensory deprivation are filled with water that is almost the exact same temperature as the floater’s body, along with high amounts of Epsom salt (made from magnesium sulphate). The salts allow you to remain restfully floating at the water’s surface in complete silence and stillness.
During the entire session, floaters generally feel light and peaceful, without needing to exert any effort to stay afloat.
What are sensory deprivation tanks used for? As you’ll learn below, the main purpose of flotation-REST is eliciting a positive effect on physiology, including lowering levels of cortisol, reducing blood pressure and promoting positive feelings of well-being.
Studies show that increased mindfulness and decreased stress during float session reduce markers of bodily distress syndrome (BDS), aka symptoms caused by chronic stress. Researchers often use the term “BDS” to describe negative physiological changes that take place when someone is under a lot of stress. These BDS signs are now tied to things like fibromyalgia symptoms, chronic fatigue syndrome and somatization disorder.
History of Floating:
Although the benefits of float tanks only recently garnered lots of buzz, they’ve actually been around since the 1950s and used in Europe on and off since the ’70s.
At the time of sensory deprivation tank creation, psychoanalytic researchers and neuroscientists used the tanks mainly to test effects on things like creativity, connection to others and concentration.
Some report that float tanks can actually bring about a “psychedelic experience.” Over the last few decades, esoteric communities promote floating as a way to promote “spiritual awakeness,” emotional breakthroughs and enhanced clarity of mind.
While these benefits are difficult to prove, research published in the Journal of Complementary & Behavioral Medicine now suggests that sensory deprivation may actually work by reducing the body’s stress response, inducing deep relaxation and quieting mental chatter.
A slew of research now shows that “floatation therapy” is an effective, noninvasive method for treating stress-related illnesses and pain, more so than a placebo or even many other methods currently used in complementary medicine.
Benefits1. More ‘Mindfulness’ and Reduced StressThe 2014 Journal of Complementary & Behavioral Medicine study mentioned above, which tested the effects of sensory deprivation on markers of quality of life in 65 adult patients as part of a cooperative health project, found a significant correlation between “altered states of consciousness during the relaxation in the flotation tank” and “mindfulness in daily life.”
Scientists randomized study participants to either a wait list control group or a flotation tank treatment group. The sensory deprivation tank group participated in a seven-week flotation program, consisting of a total of 12 float sessions.
After being tested for measures of psychological and physiological well-being — including variables like stress, energy, depression, anxiety, optimism, pain, sleep quality and mindfulness — results showed significant reductions in:
Scientists also observed improvements in general optimism, sleep quality and “mindful presence” (or awareness) during the study.
Reduced Anxiety and Depression
In 2016, researchers from the Department of Psychology at Karlstad University in Sweden tested the effects of sensory deprivation tank floating on symptoms of anxiety disorders, including general anxiety disorder (GAD), which remains one of the most challenging mental health problems to treat. Study findings showed that GAD symptomatology significantly changed for the better for the 12-session float group over a four-month period.
In fact, 37 percent of participants in the float-treatment group reached full remission from GAD symptoms at post-treatment, while the majority experienced at least some significant beneficial effects related to sleep difficulties, problems with emotional regulation and depression. All improved outcome variables at post-treatment, except for certain symptoms of depression, remained at the six-month follow-up point after the study. No negative effects surfaced in the floaters.
Improved Energy and Work Productivity
Stress-related illnesses now top the most common reasons for reduced productivity at work, employees using sick days, lost sleep and employee fatigue. Problems attributed to stress include mental fatigue (also called “brain fog“), lack of concentration, burnout syndrome, migraines or tension headaches, and digestive or gastric complaints.
Facing these daunting stats, more employers are offering complimentary floating sessions or similar approaches, like breaks for meditation, in order to keep stress levels low.
While stress reduction is a common doctor’s recommendation for patients who are already dealing with these problems, it seems to be most helpful when stress is prevented or managed before it reaches damaging levels. There’s evidence that sensory deprivation floating is now considered a cost-effective, natural and helpful stress-preventative method for decreasing potential sick-leave absences and increasing general well-being in the workplace.
Several studies, as well as patient testimonials, suggest float tanks could serve as natural painkillers. The primary way that floating helps ease pain is through evoking a relaxation response, which eases tense muscles and helps improve rest and recovery.
One study examining the effects of placebo treatments versus flotation tank therapy found that floating sessions reduced stress-related muscular pain in patients diagnosed with “burnout depression.”
The patients treated with this flotation-restricted environmental stimulation technique for six to 12 weeks exhibited less pain, lower blood pressure levels, less anxiety and depression, reduced feelings of stress and negativity, and increased happiness/optimism, energy and positive affectivity.
Help Overcoming Addictions
A study from the ’90s aimed at identifying the effectiveness of sensory deprivation on reducing addiction found that “REST is a versatile, cost-effective treatment modality with demonstrated effectiveness in modifying some addictive behaviors, and has promising applications with others.”
Interestingly, patients addicted to nicotine, alcohol or drugs generally saw improvements associated with refocusing the mind or rebalancing the various physical and mental effects of stress.
According to science, sensory deprivation helps patients overcome addictions by:
Research findings related to treating addictive behaviors with REST now support its use for:
The most support for floating involves smoking cessation help, while many believe more research is needed overall to recommend floating for other drug problems.
How Does It Work?
What does sensory deprivation do? Sensory deprivation tanks help induce a deep state of relaxation (also called a “relaxation response” or RR) by turning down the body’s “fight or flight” stress response.
Evoking a natural relaxation response is considered an effective remedy for stress-related symptoms because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, while at the same time decreasing activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
Essentially, floating helps lower cortisol levels and calm the nervous system, bringing the immune and hormonal systems back into balance.
Studies show that self deprivation sessions can help lower the heart rate, normalize blood pressure levels, restore a normal breathing rate (respiratory frequency) and normalize digestive functions.
In stressful or busy situations, we’re best able to induce a relaxation response by decreasing sensory input and bodily movements as much as possible. During a flotation therapy session, nearly all incoming stimuli and sensations are reduced or completely eliminated.
There is no music playing, no guided meditation or directions, and nothing else to hear besides your own breath. There are no lights — tanks are kept very dark.
Floaters don’t even feel water on the skin because it’s heated to nearly exact skin temperature.
Can you sleep in a sensory deprivation tank? While it’s possible, this is not the purpose.
Time in a sensory deprivation tank is similar to solo or guided meditation in that the mind tends to become very peaceful, allowing stress to melt away, but you remain awake.
Who Should Try Floating?
Floating enthusiasts told the New York Times that anyone looking to “stretch their artistic, spiritual and even athletic boundaries” can benefit from floating. After reviewing participants’ reports regarding floating’s effects, researchers even concluded this:
“Many of the participants had been using a range of different methods to reduce pain, stress and other individual health issues prior to floating. Medicines, yoga, massage and physiotherapy were some of the treatments mentioned, and never had they so successfully been relieved from pain, tension, stress, etc.”
Those looking for more of a scientifically supported reason to try floating will be happy to know it’s backed up by much ongoing research. Although there’s still lots to learn regarding the physiological effects of sensory deprivation, floating is believed to potentially help alleviate all sorts of stress-related problems, like:
Sensory deprivation tank costs depend on factors like the type of facility you visit, length of sessions and how many sessions you purchase.
Most one -to two-hour sessions cost anywhere from $30 to $150. Many places offer float packages, helping keep costs down in exchange for committing to a certain number of floats up front.
Sensory deprivation tank prices can be high in some states, so shop around different facilities, and ask about intro offers.
Here’s what else you can expect if you decide to try a sensory deprivation floating session:
Risks and Side Effects
Although most who try sensory deprivation tanks report really enjoying the experience with no unwanted side effects, not all do. Some facilities may lack proper sanitation, including reports of moldy tanks, off-putting smells and dirty tank water.
Depending on your personality and how well you deal with feeling isolated inside small, closed spaces, it’s also possible that you could feel even more anxious or restless during a float session. If you find it hard to stay in small spaces without feeling tense, like crowded subways or packed cars, you may not like how floating feels.
I can't eat dairy or gluten, but these gluten-free brownie bars are a satisfying substitute. The brownies will still seem soft when you pull them from the oven. They are done when the edges look very lightly browned.
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 package (10 ounces) dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 325°. Line an 8-in. square baking pan with parchment, letting ends extend up sides; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the first 5 ingredients until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake until edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs (do not overbake), 30-35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack, at least 2 hours. Lifting with parchment, remove brownies from pan. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.
Headspace Unwind Your Mind lets you choose your own mindfulness adventure based on your mood — from stress-relieving meditations to relaxing wind-downs and bedtime stories, it's customizable to you. Check it out on Netflix now, then unwind with a free 14-day trial of the Headspace app.
A father brings up his baby girl as a single dad after the unexpected death of his wife who died a day after their daughter's birth.
Though Emily and Donald live in the same London neighborhood of Hampstead, the worlds they inhabit could not be more different. Emily is an American widow occupying a posh apartment she can no longer afford, and Donald is an Irish loner who lives off the land in a makeshift cabin and wants nothing more than to be left in peace. When his home is threatened by real estate developers, Emily believes she has found her new cause -- but gets more than she bargained for when romance blossoms.
Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is a stressed-out, single mom who learns that her ex-husband is marrying a younger woman. Her friend Jesse (Kate Hudson) is a fitness freak who doesn't tell her parents that she has a family. Bradley is a widower (Jason Sudeikis) who's trying to raise two daughters on his own, while Miranda (Julia Roberts) is too busy with her career to worry about having children. When their respective problems start coming to a head, the Mother's Day holiday takes on a special meaning.
A widower meets his ex-girlfriend and the pair soon decides to marry. However, the eighteen children they have between them ensure the path of love doesn't run smoothly.
Single mother Susan Carpenter works as a waitress alongside her feisty family friend Sheila. Taking care of everyone and everything in his own way is Susan's older son Henry. Protective of his brother and a tireless supporter of his often self-doubting mother, Henry blazes through the days like a comet. When Susan discovers that the family next door harbors a dark secret, she's surprised to learn that Henry has devised a plan to help the young daughter.
Martha is an introverted woman who moves to a retirement community that has shuffleboard, golf, bowling and other activities. Hoping to be left alone, she meets Sheryl, a fun-loving neighbor who insists that they become best pals. After coming out of her shell, Martha and her new friend decide to form a cheerleading squad with their fellow residents. As the two women hold auditions, they soon learn that it's never too late to follow your dreams, even when the odds are stacked against you.
After a remote diamond mine collapses in the far northern regions of Canada, an ice driver leads an implausible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save the lives of trapped miners despite thawing waters and a threat they never see coming.
A three-person crew on a mission to Mars faces an impossible choice when an unplanned passenger jeopardizes the lives of everyone on board.
An American tourist in Greece finds himself on the run after a tragic accident plunges him into a political conspiracy that makes him a target for assassination.
Hummus is my go-to appetizer when I need something quick, easy and impressive. Over the years I've picked up a number of tricks that make this the best hummus recipe you'll ever have.
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cold water
Optional: Olive oil, roasted garbanzo beans, toasted sesame seeds, ground sumac
Place garbanzo beans in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 1 in. Gently rub beans together to loosen outer skin. Pour off water and any skins that are floating. Repeat 2-3 times until no skins float to the surface; drain. Return to saucepan; add baking soda and enough water to cover by 1 in. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, until beans are very tender and just starting to fall apart, 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a blender, process lemon juice, garlic and salt until almost a paste. Let stand 10 minutes; strain, discarding solids. Stir in cumin. In a small bowl, stir together tahini and olive oil.
Add beans to blender; add cold water. Loosely cover and process until completely smooth. Add lemon mixture and process. With blender running, slowly add tahini mixture, scraping sides as needed. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and cumin if desired.
Transfer mixture to a serving bowl; cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. If desired, top with additional olive oil and assorted toppings.
Valerie utilizes an extensive amount of research producing this blog. Categories are purposely set up in stages, rather than topics, so you can easily implement one step at a time.