Hummus is an increasingly popular snack food, and for good reason. It is convenient and delicious, and it affords a number of health benefits. Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber and protein, while staying low-calorie. When joined with polyphenol-rich extra-virgin olive oil, this easy-to-prepare dip helps to keep us full, fight inflammation, and improve digestion. Delicious with pita bread or fresh veggies, it will quickly earn a spot in your trusted snack food rotation.
Hummus is incredibly easy to prepare on your own—you can be sure of the quality of ingredients while also experimenting with varieties of spices and fresh herbs to switch up the flavor. Plus, it is incredibly economical when you consider the pricey prepackaged stuff versus the cost of its short ingredient list! Be mindful: canned chickpeas can be used in a pinch, but look for BPA-free cans and low-sodium options.
Classic Creamy Hummus
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 [15–ounce] cans, drained)
2 to 3 garlic cloves, depending on your taste
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Place the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor, and pulse to a coarse meal.
- Add the tahini, lemon juice, water, and salt, and process until puréed. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until thoroughly combined and creamy. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
- Hummus with Fresh Herbs. Add 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley when pulsing the chickpeas and garlic.
- Lemon and Ginger Hummus. Add finely grated ginger, to taste, for a little kick.
- Spicy Black Bean Hummus. Substitute black beans for half of the chickpeas, and serve topped with chopped cilantro and finely diced jalapeño.
The highest quality of olive oil is only worth the investment if it is stored properly! To ensure freshness and uncompromised flavor, store oils tightly sealed and away from heat and light.
Hummus is satiating and low-calorie, and its fiber content is essential for digestive health. Try swapping it in place of overly rich sandwich spreads and dips, or add a dollop to salad.
The flavor of olive oil can vary from fruity to nutty to grassy, depending on the type and quality of olives used, and the soil and climate they are grown in—not unlike grapes and their resulting wines. Olive oil tastings are increasingly popular; look for a tasting at your local specialty food store.