Hummus is a delicious spread made of garbanzo beans that's very popular in the mid-East, but still gaining fans in the U.S. You can buy a little tub of it in the deli section of many supermarkets, but it's expensive; if you make your own, it will taste much fresher and you'll save a bundle. Hummus is a tasty way to get more legumes (beans) in your diet, and most kids won't even notice they're eating something nutritious.
Rinse the garbanzo beans well in a colander under running water; the drain.
Add beans to the food processor, along with diced red bell pepper, the juice of fresh lemon or lime, 1/3 cup olive oil, peeled and chopped garlic cloves, and peeled and chopped onion. If desired, add 1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste), which is available in health food stores.
Begin processing the hummus; stop occasionally and use arubber spatula to scrap down sides of processor bowl. Add a small amount (1/4 cup) of water if mixture looks too dry.
When hummus is a smooth, paste consistency, taste and adjust seasonings, adding a pinch each of cumin, salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper, if desired. Blend well after adding seasonings.
Scrape the hummus from the food processor into a storage container with lid; seal and refrigerate.