Hummus is having a major moment. Whether with warm pita bread at a restaurant or in a tub from the grocery store, hummus has become a go-to snack for individuals looking for a high-protein alternative to their favorite dip.
If you're unfamiliar, hummus is a Middle Eastern spread made from chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), and various additions like olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Depending on what brand you buy, you can also enjoy flavors like olive, roasted red pepper, jalapeno and roasted garlic.
While hummus seems very healthy, it can vary a lot from brand to brand. Depending on how much oil is used in manufacturing, a two-tablespoons of hummus can contain anywhere from 50 to 100 calories. Yes, the fat in hummus is mostly the healthy, unsaturated kind, but a taste of hummus can quickly turn into a double- or even triple-serving when you are using it as a condiment or dip.
Calorie counts aside, the main reason I prefer to make my own hummus is the expense. Sure, a $3 tub here and there isn't breaking a lot of grocery bills, but it does add up — especially as often as I use it! In addition to using it as a dip, I love tossing hummus with hot pasta, spreading on vegetable wraps, or thinning it with water as a salad dressing.
When I first started making my own hummus, I admit it wasn't as good as the store-bought varieties. I either used too much oil (the opposite of what I was going for) or didn't use enough spice. Sometimes, it tasted like little more than mashed chickpeas.
Determined not to give us, I kept on tweaking my recipe, and I can finally say that I love the results. I make a big batch every week; I keep half at work for mid-afternoon snacks, and enjoy the rest at home. If you use dried beans, this becomes one of the cheapest ways to enjoy a high protein, low calorie dip! Once you get the basics down, experiment with different beans and flavors like edamame or white beans.
To keep it low-fat, I first prepare the hummus without oil, then drizzle on high-quality olive oil when it's served. Not only do you get to enjoy the flavor of the olive oil, you end up using much less than traditional recipes.
Delicious Knowledge Homemade Hummus
Recipe by Alexandra Caspero, MA, RD
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chickpeas, canned or cooked (if using canned chickpeas, drain and reserve the liquid)
1/3 cup tahini (look in the peanut butter section of the grocery store)
7 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. water (or liquid from the chickpeas)
7 dashes hot sauce
3 ice cubes
Salt, to taste
2 Tbsp. high quality olive-oil (optional)
Paprika, for garnish
- Add all of the ingredients, except salt and ice cubes, to a food processor or high-powered blender and process until hummus is creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Taste, for seasoning, and add salt and ice cubes. If you are using canned chickpeas, you might not need to add any additional salt.
- Process for another minute.
- Remove and place in serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, if using, and garnish with paprika.