I’ve noticed a growth in supermarket brands but was shocked to learn that the New York Times reported that the hummus industry has grown from just a $5 million dollar business 15 years ago to one that totaled $530 million in 2012. Traditionally hummus is simply chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), garlic, lemon juice and some spices. So why are the labels so extensive for half the hummus brands I pick up to review nutrition data? Next time you shop for hummus notice the ingredient list. I’m not saying all store bought is bad but many include vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, canola and even sugar.
I make my own for a variety of reasons including:
I have can easily have all ingredients on hand and it’s really quick to make.
It much cleaner and more delicious than store bough because I choose exactly what goes into it.
I have a healthy snack on hand- great for pre or post workout when I just need a little something.
When I take the time to make my hummus I also take the time to add a variety of vegetables to my grocery list so I have good stuff (not bread or crackers) to dip. It’s much easier to add vegetables to your diet when you don’t have to cook or prepare them. I suggest cleaning and cutting veggies for a few days supply when you make the hummus. When I’m tracking a client’s food log and notice lack of vegetables, this is one of my suggestions to get a jump on that.
Honestly don’t even care for dipping my hummus in bread. I want the hummus because it’s so tasty, and the vegetable is simply the vehicle to get it in my mouth.
I can easily add other flavors to the basic recipe as the week goes by to alter the taste experience.
It can be a good condiment as I often add it to other meal that needs a little something creamy. Use it as a salad dressing; include it in a chicken or tuna salad instead of mayonnaise or some other overly processed condiment. Today I’m baking a portabella mushroom (this will bake during post workout shower) and adding a filling of tuna, celery and hummus. Add that on top of my leftover mashed sweet potato and I’m ready to get back to work.
2 cans chickpeas (about 30 oz)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup tahini mixed well
2 or more garlic cloves
1/8 tsp red pepper
1 tsp sea salt
Drain 2 cans of chickpeas reserving ½ cup liquid. Rinse beans then place in food processor.
Add 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, ¼ cup tahini, 2 minced garlic cloves (or 1T jarred minced) 1/8 teaspoon salt and process. Slowly add the reserved liquid starting with a ¼ cup and varying the liquid based upon other items you may be adding and texture desired.
Add to the basic recipe with these additional ingredients:
Roasted bell pepper
Sun dried tomato and fresh basil
Cucumber and fresh dill
Artichokes (canned rinsed and drained) and steamed or frozen spinach
Edamame- in the picture shown I replaced a can of chickpeas with cooked edamame. Loved the texture and flavor.
Avocado (if ripe will add to the creamy texture and may be able to lessen the liquid in the recipe)
Although hummus has healthy fats, protein, carbs and a good amount of fiber its easy to get too much of a good thing. Keep in mind a cup of hummus is around 400-450 calories. Measure out the amount that is appropriate for your intended meal or snack instead of dipping right into the container