Hummus!

Today’s post is inspired by my dog Lou’s insatiable appetite for hummus. Sometimes I think he eats better than me and my husband with his affinity for hummus, mangoes, clementines, and Greek yogurt. One thing I look towards the most every day is coming home and snacking on hummus with my pup 🙂

Lou collageCall it the food nerd and dietitian in me, but sometimes I get excited thinking about how something so delicious can be so healthy for you. And with the varieties of hummus that are out there, the sky is the limit on the flavor and nutrition profiles you can create with this great dip. Because hummus is essentially pureed garbanzo beans typically including olive oil and other “hummus staples”, hummus is a great source of protein, fiber, and heart healthy fat. Folate, zinc, and magnesium are additional vitamins and minerals that tend to be present in hummus as well.

Making your own hummus at home can be easy and fun, especially when putting your own spin on recipes. My favorite varieties of hummus tend to be on the spicy side 🙂 Below I have included One of my favorite recipes from fellow dietitian Roberta Duyff with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

Sun-Dried Tomato-Olive Hummus (don’t worry, not spicy 🙂 )

Ingredients

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup finely-chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or Italian (flat) parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts for garnish (optional)
1 teaspoon paprika (optional)

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine chickpeas, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and cumin. Process until smooth. Consistency should be smooth but not runny.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, olives and cilantro.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer to blend flavors.
  4. To serve, top with pine nuts and/or paprika, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serves 12 (1/4 cup serving)
Calories: 100
Calories from fat: 30; Total fat: 3.5g; Saturated fat: 0g; Trans fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium 210mg
Total carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary fiber: 3g; Sugars: 2g
Protein 4g

**

If you’re trying to decide how to eat your hummus outside of dipping a pita chip in there, see the 10 Helpful Hummus Tips from WebMD to create some variety in your hummus lifestyle:

1. Hummus serves as a super spread on sandwiches and wraps. Try it instead of mayonnaise. You’ll get more flavor with less fat.

2. Hummus turns into a tasty dressing. Blend some hummus with broth, water, or wine until you get your desired drizzling consistency to make a dressing for cold pasta salads.

3. Hummus serves as a great dip with raw veggies. Fill a serving bowl with the hummus of your choosing and surround the bowl with assorted raw vegetables such as sugar snap peas, sliced cucumber or zucchini, grape or cherry tomatoes, and broccoli or cauliflower florets.

4. Hummus + salsa = a spicy dip. Spice up plain hummus by blending in your favorite salsa. With about 20 seconds of mixing, a spicy dip is born.

5. Hummus is for hamburgers. Use hummus as a spread for veggie, turkey, or beef burgers in place of traditional condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce, or mustard.

6. Make a better bruschetta with hummus. For a more satisfying serving of bruschetta (an Italian appetizer of grilled sliced bread traditionally topped with a mixture of chopped tomato, garlic, olive oil, onion, and basil), top a sliced toasted baguette with some hummus before adding a dollop of the tomato bruschetta topping.

7. Hummus is easier to make than you may think. Just combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse for a minute. It keeps in the refrigerator for several days.

8. Serve hummus with whole grains. Hummus works well as an appetizer served with whole grain crackers and crisps. Toasted whole wheat pita pocket crisps or grilled whole grain tortilla triangles are ideal but whole wheat crackers complement the flavor of hummus, too.

9. Spread hummus instead of cream cheese. Try hummus on your whole grain bagel instead of cream cheese.

10. Hummus is a friend of falafel. If you are a fan of falafel (fried or baked crispy balls made with chickpeas, bulgur, and spices), hummus is a nice condiment for falafel served as an appetizer or as a filler in a pita sandwich.

Do you have a favorite hummus recipe? Please share and spread the hummus love 🙂 🙂

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