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traditional chickpea hummus

Hummus is a chickpea-based dip and spread that is a staple food and popular appetizer in many Middle Eastern nations such as Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Today, according to the USDA, hummus is growing in popularity in the United States, too! This trend is driven by consumer demand for healthier snacks and gluten-free products.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are naturally gluten-free; high in fiber, folate and protein; and they contain nutrients such as iron, calcium and magnesium.  Consequently, hummus provides more nutrients, more healthy fat and less unhealthy fat than many traditional American dips and spreads. The protein, healthy fat and fiber it contains can help you feel full, which can help with weight control. These nutrients can also help prevent heart disease and stabilize blood sugar. However, portion control is important with hummus, as the calories from the healthy fat it contains may add up quickly. A two-tablespoon portion of hummus contains about 70 calories. Hummus sold at the grocery store may contain large quantities of added sodium, too.

Luckily, hummus is not difficult to make at home. Classic hummus contains chickpeas, olive oil, tahini (a sesame paste), lemon juice and spices. For additional flavor or color, try including fresh herbs or vegetables such as roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, beets, edamame or artichoke hearts in your own personal recipe. Mash the ingredients with a fork or puree them in a food processor to obtain a dip-like or spreadable consistency. hummus plate with celery sticks and crackers

If you don’t have tahini at home, can’t find it in your local grocery store or simply don’t like its flavor, try this easy hummus recipe that utilizes plain, non-fat yogurt in its place.

Serve hummus with whole grain pita chips, wedges or crackers, or fresh cut vegetables like cucumber slices, carrot and celery sticks, bell pepper spears, grape tomatoes, or broccoli and cauliflower florets. You can also spread hummus on your favorite sandwich or wrap, or use it in place of mayonnaise in making a tasty tuna salad. Need more inspiration? Check out this list of 10 Ways to Enjoy Hummus!

Sources:

Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans): Nutrition, Selection & Storage. https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/chickpeas-garbanzo-beans

Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Hummus. https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/top-10-ways-to-enjoy-hummus/

Goldstein, J. Hummus. The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/hummus/

Gottfried, S. (2018). Is Hummus Actually Healthy? Here’s What the Experts Say. Time Health. http://time.com/5331376/is-hummus-actually-healthy-heres-what-the-experts-say/

Spend Smart. Eat Smart. After-School Hummus. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. https://spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/recipe/after-school-hummus/

USDA Economic Research Service (2017). Pulses Production Expanding as Consumers Cultivate a Taste for U.S. Lentils and Chickpeas. https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2017/januaryfebruary/pulses-production-expanding-as-consumers-cultivate-a-taste-for-us-lentils-and-chickpeas/

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

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