The history of hummus is extensive and so are its health benefits. It originated in the Middle East and boasts of high fibre, protein, carbohydrates, and low in fat content. The preparation is simple and is extremely versatile.
With zero preservatives, additives and stabilisers, it is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free. Let’s take a look at how this smooth-textured dish can make our meals healthy and yummy:
- Anti-inflammatory: We are aware of how inflammation is the root cause of many chronic diseases. The ingredients in hummus like beans, lemon, olive oil, tahini (sesame) and garlic have antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
- Lowers cholesterol: Hummus has good fats like monounsaturated fats, which don’t clog arteries. The ingredients in hummus are also brain foods, help lubrication within the organs, absorb vitamins, reduce hunger pangs, keep blood sugar levels in control, and make skin and hair glow.
- Great plant-based protein: Chickpeas are excellent sources of protein for vegetarians, vegans and omnivores. Anyone who is on a restricted diet due to food intolerances like gluten, dairy or refined sugar can make their life interesting with variations of hummus every day.
- Mood & energy boosters: Complex carbohydrates are rich in starch, which gives our body energy to function and feel good in a stable manner without giving sugar spikes. Compared to other snack or dips, hummus helps when you are dealing with the blues.
- Rich in vitamins & minerals: The chickpeas used in hummus are high in folate, iron, B vitamins, phosphorus, and many more traces of other sources. Vegetarians and vegans can benefit from this because chances are they could be low on most of these. All other micro-nutrients in hummus are also rich in vitamin C from lemon, digestive enzymes and vitamin B-6 from garlic, and much more.
- A healthy on-the-go snack: Hummus is easy to prepare and carry to work or for a picnic. Pack it along with a platter of crudités like cucumbers, carrots, asparagus or multigrain lavash. The best form of hummus is home-made, not the one made from canned beans, which have extra sodium, preservatives, stabilisers, and are sometimes stale.
Although hummus is a great source of energy, anyone with a weak digestive system should avoid eating hummus post 4 pm, as it could lead to gastric issues. Hummus is an ancient snack and can be consumed at any one of your meals for the day.
(The author is an integrative nutritionist, Life Coach and NLP Expert)
- 1 cup of dry chickpeas
- ½ tsp of baking soda
- ½ of lemons juice
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 tbsps of tahini paste (made with crushed sesame seeds)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ tsp of mixed seeds (flax, sesame, sunflower, watermelon)
- Soak 1 cup of chickpeas overnight in double the amount of water.
- Pressure cook the soaked chickpeas for about 3 to 4 whistles with a pinch of baking soda. You can leave the skin on for a rough texture. Peel the skin if you want an extra-smooth hummus.
- Drain out the water and add all ingredients except seeds & oil.
- Add a few spoons of cold water for a smoother texture and blitz the mixture for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Serve in a bowl and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and garnish with sesame seeds.
Get creative by blending a new ingredient along with the classic hummus
- Beet hummus: classic hummus and ½ cooked beetroot
- Guacamole hummus: classic hummus and ½ ripe avocado
- Edamame hummus: classic hummus and ½ cup cooked edamame
- Jalapeno hummus: classic hummus and ½ baby jalapeno
- Herbed hummus: classic hummus and ¼ cup parsley, ¼ dill, ¼ pesto sauce or ¼ cup of cilantro
- Cauliflower hummus: classic hummus and ¼ cup of an oven-roasted cauliflower