Discover the pros and cons of enjoying this popular snack and try our tips for making it even healthier!
It's creamy, satisfying and utterly delicious. But is hummus healthy - or is it best enjoyed as an occasional treat?
Let's find out!
Despite its decadent taste and texture, hummus is actually a nutritious choice - but, like everything, it's best enjoyed in moderation!
A basic hummus recipe calls for a combination of chickpeas, tahini and olive oil, plus a few other ingredients for flavouring. Each of the main ingredients brings some important nutrients to the dish!
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a great source of protein. They also contain plenty of fiber, 12% of the RDI of folate, plus some iron too!
It's the chickpeas that give hummus its lovely, velvety texture. In fact, they make such a creamy puree that they are an ideal substitute for cream in certain dishes, especially soup!
Tahini is made from sesame seeds, toasted then ground. You can even get black tahini, which is made from - you guessed it - black sesame seeds!
Tahini contains protein, fiber, selenium and a whopping 27% of the Daily Value (DV) of copper!
Tip: If you buy tahini to make hummus and find yourself with a lot left over, then try using it to top toast, along with a dash of honey. It's also great for making creamy salad dressings, or baking into cookies (in the same way you'd add peanut butter).
We all know that olive oil is good for us - and hummus contains plenty!
Known as the healthiest oil on earth, olive oil is good for the heart and packed with beneficial fatty acids. Always choose extra virgin olive oil for maximum health benefits.
So hummus can't possibly be unhealthy - can it?
The only problem with hummus is the calories! Olive oil is calorie rich, instantly making this a dish where portion size matters!
The addition of other ingredients to create different types of flavored hummus can sometimes increase calorie levels further still. And when you start enjoying your hummus with a big pile of pita chips or other unhealthy dipping material... well, I'll say no more!
Delicious hummus recipes to try!
All things considered, hummus is still a highly nutritious snack and far better for you than many other dipping sauces.
If you pair it with something healthy - carrot sticks work well, and halved cherry tomatoes are amazing - then it's a treat you can enjoy guilt-free!
And the good news is that hummus is versatile! Instead of chickpeas, try making hummus with lentils - easy and delish! You can also try the white bean variety - or really max out the nutrients and opt for black bean hummus!
Beet hummus has a uniquely wonderful flavor - not to mention color!
And once you've settled on the variety you prefer, try your hand at these simple hummus veggie bites, which look totally eyecatching and are great for parties!