I never had hummus as a kid. My childhood apparently predated the hummus invasion. If it had been around, though, I’m pretty sure I would’ve laughed at the name and likely balked at trying any dip made from beans. Flash forward a few years and the thing that I once would’ve pushed around on my plate has become a staple in my refrigerator. And it’s no surprise because hummus is everywhere! You can buy it in gallon tubs or even cute little individual portions. It comes in a million flavors and you can purchase it from vending machines and even at gas stations. And I couldn’t be happier about it, both as a registered dietitian nutritionist and a mom. Why?
Well, because if you are going to snack on something, it might as well be hummus. It’s loaded with fiber, healthy fats and protein, all of which help satisfy any hunger pang. It’s a perfect pairing for fresh cut veggies and whole-wheat pita slices, and is a great stand-in for cheese or other higher-fat sandwich toppings.
While I love the convenience of store-bought hummus, I really enjoy making my own. It’s beyond easy to do and requires very few ingredients. It lasts for at least a week when covered and stored in your refrigerator, and you can flavor it any way you like. The recipe below is a great base, but I encourage you to experiment and make it your own. Add ingredients like roasted red peppers or lemon zest. Or swap half of the garbanzo beans with black beans or trade in the raw garlic for roasted garlic. The options are truly endless.
Food Safety Note: Taking this to work, a tailgate or even a potluck to share? No problem! Just be sure to cover and store in a cooler filled with ice. Pack a refrigerator thermometer in the cooler to ensure it stays below 40°F. And bring a serving spoon to allow coworkers and guests to safely serve themselves.
- 2 cans (15 oz each) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, for garnish
- In the bowl of a food processor add the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and water. Puree mixture until slightly chunky. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add olive oil, cumin and cayenne pepper and puree until smooth, adding additional water as necessary to create a smooth consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove mixture to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil as garnish, if desired.
- Serve hummus with pita chips or freshly cut vegetables. Or use as a spread for sandwiches or flatbread pizzas.
- Serving size = 1/4 cup
Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, is a Chicago-based dietitian and chef. She currently works with Roche Dietitians as well as Centered Chef, is a Food & Nutrition contributing editor, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, and is also the voice of The Eating Right Minute, a public service announcement of the Academy that airs daily on WBBM Newsradio, 780 and 105.9 FM. Find her helpful lifestyle tips on Twitter.