Hummus Picture

Health Benefits of Hummus

What is Hummus? Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip for vegetables like carrots, peppers, and cucumbers. It can also be used as a dip or spread for crackers or breads.

Basic Ingredients: Chickpeas or garbanzo and Tahini (sesame paste).

Health Benefits of Hummus:

  • Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber which is known to improve blood sugar levels and help fight the build-up of cholesterol in blood.
  • Hummus is high in protein, making them a perfect addition to a vegetarian’s diet or one who would like to cut back on red meat.
  • Hummus contains folic acid, which has been found to prevent birth defects when eaten by pregnant women.
  • Hummus contains large amount of tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine, which are mood lifters, and can also help prevent insomnia.
  • Chickpeas themselves are relatively low in fat, but the presence of olive oil boosts the fat content in hummus. Olive oil, however, is rich in monounsaturated fat, a type that is actually heart healthy.
  • Chickpeas contain molybdenum, a trace mineral that helps the body detoxify sulfites. It is also rich in iron and manganese, which are essential for healthy blood and high energy.

How to Make Hummus

Basic Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (or 1/2 kilogram) of chickpeas.
  • 1 cup (or roughly 250 grams) of tahini. This can be bought from health food stores, Middle Eastern specialty shops, and occasionally in the grocery store.
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • dash of salt
  • dash of cumin
  • 6-8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  • Take the chickpeas and rinse them completely. Put them in a large bowl and cover with 3-4 inches of water. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, as this will help soften the beans. Leave them uncovered overnight, either in the fridge or out on the counter. They will expand, so be sure to cover with plenty of water.
  • Once they have soaked for at least 8-10 hours, rinse them again. Put them in a large pot and cover them with 2 inches of water. Bring them to a high boil and skim the foam from the surface. After you have skimmed the surface to the point the foam is clear, reduce the beans to a low boil and cover, leaving to simmer for 2-3 hours. The beans are done when you can use a small spoon or fork and easily mash a bean against the side of the pot. They need to be soft.
  • Drain the chickpeas, but save the juice! Rinse them again, and let them drain for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
  • Slice the lemon and using a strainer, get your lemon juice
  • Combine everything in a blender or food processor. Add roughly 1/4 cup of the saved chickpea water. Blend/process for several minutes. You are aiming for the consistency of paste, although you can thicken or loosen the mixture to your preference using the water from the boiling pan.
  • Serve immediately with your choice of garnish. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil for enhanced flavor.

Storage tip: Hummus can be stored for about three days in the refrigerator or frozen for about a month. If it begins to dry out, simply add a small amount of extra virgin olive oil to moisten it.