My question is regarding canning. I have come across a recipe for canning the...

Asked May 7, 2019, 6:24 AM EDT

My question is regarding canning. I have come across a recipe for canning the ingredients for hummus. It includes toasted sesame seeds, garbanzo beans and lemon juice. My question is, is it safe to include the sesame seeds? I have a YouTube channel where I share canning recipes and I want to make sure I’m sharing safe information Thank you

Delaware County Ohio

1 Response

Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately, I cannot provide any recommendations for canning humus or even its ingredients in combination. I verified this with a number of credible sources (such as the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the USDA Guide to Home Canning, The Ball Blue Book, The Ball Complete Book of Home Food Preserving, So Easy to Preserve, Mrs. Wages Canning book, and Preserving the Harvest).

The reason these sources do not provide directions for canning humus is because food preservation guidelines steer us away from canning pureed vegetables/low acid foods (such as pureed garbanzo beans). You didn't say, but canned humus recipes also frequently include oil/fat, which is also not recommended for canning. Tahini (and sesame seeds in general) are high fat in and of themselves. On some sites you will see people talk about how the lemon juice makes the product safe to can, and this simply isn't true. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about the safety of canning various foods, so I am very glad you asked about it before proceeding!

So a few options/suggestions . . .

You can can the garbanzo beans in their intact form (not pureed) and have them ready to puree to make humus. Directions for canning garbanzo beans can be found at https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/beans_peas_shelled.html.

You can also make humus and freeze it, which is perfectly safe and has very favorable outcomes. I found several references indicating freezing recommendations, which basically come down to making your desired humus and then dividing it into freezer safe bags, pushing as much air out of the bags as possible, and then freezing flat. You could also freeze it in jars. If you do so, you will want to allow head space.

Although possibly not the answer you would like, I hope that information was helpful. If you have any further questions, please let me know

Take care,
Chris