Hummus made its U.S. debut quite a while ago, but for a long time was relegated to status as a “health food” (as if that were a bad thing). Luckily, hummus has become increasingly popular in the mainstream scene, and is found at cool parties and upscale restaurants alike. Here are the answers to some questions you might have about this tasty spread:
- What Is Hummus?
Even people who have tasted and enjoyed hummus before often still have a few simple questions: What is hummus? Is it a vegetable, a carb or a protein? Is it healthy? Commercial brands all have different recipes, of course, but the traditional elements of hummus are chickpeas, tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds), olive oil and simple flavorings such as garlic and salt. Hummus contains more protein than many other snack foods (though you’ll want to pay attention to the nutritional content of whatever you’re dipping in it), and has no trans fats or cholesterol. It’s also gluten free and diabetic-friendly.
- What Kinds of Hummus Are Available?
There are many different types of hummus spreads. Roasted red pepper, garlic and lemon are all popular varieties, but you can find by doing a little online investigating that plenty of people have even come up with recipes for dessert hummus. If getting your own chickpeas and tahini seems like a little more effort than you’re willing to go to, you can always start with plain hummus from the store and dress it up from there with everything from cinnamon to roasted veggies.
- Is Hummus Only For Dipping?
While it’s true that a spicy hummus dip or roasted garlic hummus dip with warm pita is almost always a hit as a snack or appetizer, there are actually numerous ways to incorporate hummus into a healthy diet. Try substituting plain hummus into any recipes that would usually use mayonnaise (if you’re hesitant, you can start by replacing mayo with hummus on your sandwiches and move on from there). Flavored hummus dips can also be used as ultra creamy salad dressings; if the texture is too thick for your taste, you can add a little olive oil to thin it out.
What other questions do you have about hummus? Ask and join the discussion in the comments.