If you have a nut and dairy allergy humous is a real treat. Luckily for me I don’t have a sesame allergy but I have always been tempted to try making my own humous. How hard can it be right?

Traditional humous contains sesame in the form or tahini paste and it does add the distinctive taste to humous. I have struggled to buy nut free tahini anywhere (those annoying may contain warnings) so I wondered, what would it taste like without the tahini paste?

Sesame free humous

Sesame free humous with nori flakes

Before we start, I don’t have any fancy whizzy machines, just a hand-held blender, which was fine for the job though be very aware not to lift the blender while blending unless you like wearing humous!


  • 1 400g can of chickpeas
  • 3-4 tablespoons of liquid from your can of chickpeas
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink himalyan rock salt
  • Tablespoon of nori flakes (*optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Dash of paprika to garnish. Or you could use parsley.

How to make your own humous

Handheld blender for making humous

You don’t need fancy mixers

  • Firstly drain chickpeas but remember to set aside the 3-4 tablespoons of liquid from the can. You might not need it all but it saves waste!
  • Roughly mix all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl then use your blender or food processor to blizt them into a paste.
  • Add the liquid from chickpeas slowly and make sure it’s well mixed in for a few minutes. It should be a smooth paste. Or if you like it a bit more chunky, don’t whizz for as long.
  • Then garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of paprika.
  • Best eaten immediately with pitta bread or gluten free bread or crackers

My homemade humous seems to taste slightly different each time I make it but then that’s part of the fun. The amounts above are not set in stone, you can change quantities and add more spice or less depending on how it tastes.

Some recipes add a bit more spice. You could try cumin, paprika, chilli or turmeric. You can add more or less than above and change to your own taste. Some recipes also add coriander but I am allergic to that so I almost didn’t let you know… Tastes fowl to me. Urgh! But most of all, have fun and experiment!

The beauty of this humous recipe is that it’s now totally freefrom any allergens. No gluten, no wheat, no dairy, no soya, no sesame, no nuts, no eggs… Unless of course you can’t eat chickpeas!

Substituting sesame: You could try sunflower butter instead of tahini paste.

If you do want to make this WITH tahini paste you need to add 1.5 tablespoons. DO NOT BE FOOLED INTO THINKING YOU CAN ADD SESAME OIL… AND IF YOU DO ADD A TINY TINY BIT. I TRIED THIS AND IT’S NOW SESAME CITY.

PS. Thank you Hailey of Allergy Adventures for teaching me how to make this!

* What are nori flakes?

Nori flakes are a type of edible seaweed. They are about a third protein and a third fibre, and contain high proportions of iodine, vitamins A, B, and K, and iron. They also contain sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur and phosphorus; the micronutrients include iodine, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluoride, manganese, boron, nickel and cobalt.

I put them on salads, in soups right at the end and use it instead of salt sometimes. It has a delicous salty tangy flavour and is also great in salad dressings. I buy mine from Goodness Direct (see link in side bar).

I hope you enjoy making this simple humous recipe and I’d love to hear any tips of other ingredients you have added to make a twist with the flavour.



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website http://whatallergy.com/ and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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