Hummus is one of those classic go-to snacks, especially for those who are trying to stick to a healthy diet. Although it’s definitely convenient to buy pre-packaged hummus, you might want to consider making your own at home. Fresh, homemade hummus is easy to make, tastes better, and can even be more nutritious than the name brand variety.
The Health Benefits
“Hummus is a fantastic and versatile source of plant-based protein,” says Anna Mason, RDN. “As a spread, dip, or dressing, hummus’ chickpeas will help keep you full and boost your body’s protein supply. Whether you’re looking for protein to build muscle mass or keep your hair, skin, and nails strong, hummus is a worthy option for your protein tool belt.”
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In addition to protein, hummus is also an excellent source of fiber. It packs about six grams of fiber per three-tablespoon serving, which can be great for digestion. “Specifically, it is a good source of soluble fiber, which also plays a role in regulating blood sugar spikes by slowing down sugar going directly to the bloodstream,” says Justine Roth MS, RD, CEDRD.
Benefits for Vegans and Vegetarians
This plant-based snack is also particularly useful for vegans and vegetarians, as it contains iron and B vitamins such as folate and B6. “Since these happen to be nutrients that are often times lacking in a vegan or plant-based diet, hummus serves as a nutrient-rich staple for vegans especially to include in their daily diet,” says Lauren Cornell, MS, RD. Since these nutrients are vital to blood production and energy production, it’s important that those following a plant-based diet (or otherwise) seek food sources full of these nutrients on a daily basis.
Finally, most hummus is made with extra virgin olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet. This source of fat is renowned for its affiliation with lower incidences of cancer and heart disease. “Olive oil contains heart healthy fats that can aid in lowering cholesterol,” says Mason. “Some studies even suggest that olive oil has anti-tumor mechanisms, though it should not be used to replace other healthy lifestyle choices.”
Now that you know all of the benefits of this healthful food, try making your own homemade hummus. Use this basic recipe as a start, and then feel free to incorporate additional ingredients to add some flavor and extra nutrients to your hummus.
Makes: 4 servings
Total time: 10 minutes
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons filtered water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a food processor or blender, add chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, 4 tablespoons olive oil, water, and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth, about ten to 20 seconds.
- Transfer to a bowl and top with remaining olive oil. Hummus should be stored in the refrigerator and is good for up to three days.
Looking for ideas on how to spruce up your homemade hummus? Try these mix-ins:
- Roasted garlic
- Sun dried tomato
- Roasted red peppers
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
Adding homemade hummus to your diet can not only help you save money, but it can also help you get in many of the important nutrients that you need in your diet.