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Healthy, Easy Hummus Recipes

Isn’t it awesome when healthy food tastes delicious, and it’s a snap to choose nutritious options over heavily processed ones…Especially when you need a quick bite? Hummus is just one of those spot-hitters.

The earliest known recipe for hummus was recorded in a 13th century cookbook in Cairo, Egypt, and was said to have been eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t think I could eat hummus for every meal, but I do sure do enjoy this ancient Middle Eastern dip pretty often as a snack or light meal.

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Traditionally made with simple, whole-food ingredients – chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic and olive oil – hummus is simple to throw together with pantry staples you probably already have on hand (especially if you use a hummus recipe without tahini). As a nourishing and savory dip for fresh, raw carrots, celery, peppers and green beans, it’s an easy way to get your veggie quota for the day. Kids, especially, think it’s fun to use carrot “chips” as a hummus vehicle!  

Health Benefits of Hummus

A nutritional powerhouse, hummus is just the kind of food I recommend as part of my anti-inflammatory PAMM (Pan-Asian Modified Mediterranean) diet, since it’s packed full of low-glycemic carbs, fiber, vitamins, protein, and monounsaturated fats (olive oil).

Nutrient-rich chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are the main ingredient in hummus. One cup of cooked chickpeas contains 7 to 8 grams of fiber, which is great for the body and helps protect the GI tract from cancer. Chickpeas also contain a good amount of protein and fat to help us feel full and curb over-snacking. As legumes, chickpeas are low-glycemic. This means they don’t need much insulin to get digested, and are good foods to help prevent or control diabetes. Chickpeas are also full of essential vitamins and minerals that are integral to bodily functioning, such as Vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, among others.

Another key hummus ingredient with a myriad of health benefits is garlic. Allicin, a sulfur compound in garlic which gives its characteristic aroma, helps promote healthy blood, blood pressure and cholesterol. It also promotes immunity against bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and other bugs that can make you sick.

You can’t make hummus without olive oil and I’ve long sung the praises of this “liquid gold”! As a cardiologist and anti-aging doctor, it’s one of my all-time favorite superfoods.  The primary source of fat in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, olive oil helps your body absorb certain nutrients and supports many vital bodily functions. But that’s not all – olive oil also contains antioxidant polyphenols, which means we get extra protection against environmental toxins because antioxidants fight free radicals that can damage our healthy cells. To get the most health benefits and best flavor, I recommend cold-pressed or extra-virgin olive oils (EVOOs) because they contain a higher percentage of the antioxidant polyphenols than lesser quality olive oils.

Since homemade hummus only uses a handful of pantry staples, it’s simple to whip up in minutes anytime you’re craving a healthy, filling snack. Here are some easy hummus recipes plus a few ways to doctor up store-bought hummus to be even more delicious. (Hummus is so easy to make, you can even teach kids how so they can fix a healthy snack anytime hunger hits!)

Easy Garlic Hummus Recipe

  • 1 (16-ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons Cold-Pressed or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Natural Salt Blend, to taste
  • Fresh parsley sprig for garnish

Drain the can of chickpeas and rinse. Place the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, crushed garlic, olive oil and a few grinds of salt blend in a food processor and blend for 3 to 5 minutes on low until thoroughly combined and smooth. Add up to 1/4 cup of filtered water if needed. and blend. Serve with a sprig of fresh parsley on top and a drizzle of EVOO to taste.

If you don’t have garlic or lemons on hand, you can replace the 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO with Lemon olive oil or Garlic olive oil for a subtler but still kicky taste!

Mexican Spicy Hummus Recipe

Drain the can of chickpeas, and rinse. Place the chickpeas, lime juice, crushed garlic, Spicy Jalapeño olive oil or EVOO, Mexican Spice Blend and a few grinds of salt blend in a food processor. Add  a little filtered water as needed and blend for 3 to 5 minutes on low until thoroughly combined and smooth. Serve with a sprinkle of Mexican Spice Blend on top and a drizzle of Jalapeño Garlic EVOO to taste.

Alternate version – skip the garlic cloves and use Jalapeño Garlic Cold Pressed Olive Oil instead of Spicy Jalapeno Olive Oil.

If you have some store-bought hummus that you want to liven up, here are some ideas to make it taste homemade!

From my heart to yours,

Reference:

  • Wallace TC, Murray R, Zelman KM. The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus. Nutrients. 2016;8(12):766. Published 2016 Nov 29. doi:10.3390/nu8120766

© 2019 Stephen Sinatra, MD. All rights reserved.