7.27.2013

On My Plate: Hummus























Since I started my healthy lifestyle journey nearly two years ago, one of the questions I get the most is: “What do you eat?” I eat lots of things, but something I always have on hand is homemade hummus.

How do you feel about hummus? Do you think it’s a “hipster” food or a snack only eaten by vegetarians? Well I hope you LOVE hummus and know that it’s a great, healthy option for both plant and meat eaters alike. Though it is a healthy food option, I don’t consider it a health food (aka something that tastes like cardboard).

It’s important to note that many store brand hummus mixes and often what is served at restaurants are deceiving when it comes to calories and fat. But, if you whip up your own hummus at home, not only are the flavor possibilities endless, but you can decide what goes in (or what doesn’t!) to this creamy, delicious dip!

Why is hummus great? Well first of all, it’s filling. How many of us can eat a tub of dip and still feel hungry? That’s usually because the dip we’re eating is full of fat, sugar, and salt, which although tasty usually doesn’t leave us satiated…and don’t get me started on the lack of nutritional value (I’m looking at you, French Onion dip).

The base of hummus is typically made up of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), which are LOADED with protein and fiber. Both are good for your body and help to keep you feeling full. But don’t think you have to stop at chickpeas, oh no. I’ve made hummus and substituted the chickpeas with black beans, cannellini beans, etc. I’m not a huge fan of using black beans, even though I love them, only because I felt the consistency was a bit off. But if you try it let me know what you think!

Hummus usually also contains the following ingredients: lemon juice, olive oil, salt/pepper, garlic and Tahini. If you’re not familiar with Tahini, it is a paste made from ground, hulled sesame seeds – you see it a lot in Middle Eastern cuisine. I certainly don’t mind eating hummus that has been prepared with Tahini, but my personal opinion is that you really don’t need it! Sure, it adds a lot of flavor, but I find that Tahini usually costs a bit more money than I’m willing to spend, and I flavor up my homemade hummuses with so many other yummy, inexpensive ingredients that I don’t miss it at all. Plus, it saves you some calories.

This week I’m sharing a few of my favorite hummus recipes with you below. I’ve also included what I enjoy eating them with, but serve them with whatever you like! I portion out ¼ cup servings and take it with me for lunch – and I find that a typical batch lasts me a few days, if not more. Hummus is also a GREAT post-workout snack. Oh, also, I’m a garlic-a-holic, so I add more garlic to my hummus than most people, so keep that in mind when you’re adapting my recipes below. I hope you enjoy!

Basil Pesto Hummus
•    1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
•    2 cups fresh basil leaves
•    Olive Oil
•    Juice from ½ a lemon (or 3 tbs (or more/less to taste)
•    2-3 cloves garlic (or more/less to taste)
•    Salt and pepper (to taste)

Recipe: Place all of the items, except the basil, into a food processor. Blend until creamy. Slowly add in the basil leaves. Add in more olive oil if the mixture is too thick. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

The benefit: You can’t go wrong with basil. The natural oils found in basil leaves are beneficial to both your health and skin – sold!

Serve with: Cucumbers are great, but baby/cherry tomatoes are my favorite veggies to dip into this amazing hummus.

Sweet Potato w/ Smoked Paprika Hummus
•    1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
•    1.5-2 cups roasted sweet potatoes
•    Olive Oil
•    Juice from ½ a lemon (or 3 tbs (or more/less to taste)
•    3 cloves garlic (or more/less to taste)
•    Smoked Paprika (to taste)
•    Salt and pepper (to taste)

Recipe: Place all of the items, except the sweet potatoes, into a food processor. Blend until creamy. Slowly add in the sweet potatoes. Add in more olive oil if the mixture is too thick. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

The benefit: Sweet potatoes are filling and SUPER high in potassium (they have more Vitamin K than a banana!)

Serve with: You could spread this hummus on warm bread or do what I do and eat it cold with cucumbers.

Jalapeno Hummus
•    1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
•    ½ of a whole jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
•    Olive Oil
•    Juice from ½ a lemon (or 3 tbs (or more/less to taste)
•    2-3 cloves garlic (or more/less to taste)
•    Salt and pepper (to taste)

Recipe: Place all of the items into a food processor. Blend until creamy. Add in more olive oil if the mixture is too thick. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

The benefit: Foods that are spicy, such as jalapenos, have a natural tendency to help you eat slower and to tell your brain that you’re full.

Serve with: I use broccoli to scoop out this spicy and delicious treat!

Parsley Hummus
•    1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
•    ¼ cup chopped, fresh parsley (or more if you like)
•    Olive Oil
•    Juice from ½ a lemon (or 3 tbs (or more/less to taste)
•    2-3 cloves garlic (or more/less to taste)
•    Salt and pepper (to taste)

Recipe: Place all of the items into a food processor. Blend until creamy. Add in more olive oil if the mixture is too thick. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

The benefit: Parsley is such a great plant to have on hand. In addition to being one of the best breath-fresheners out there, studies say it can help lower blood pressure and help the body flush out excess fluid.

Serve with: Carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, etc.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
•    1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
•    ½ cup chopped red bell peppers (roasted or unroasted)
•    Olive Oil
•    Juice from ½ a lemon (or 3 tbs (or more/less to taste)
•    2-3 cloves garlic (or more/less to taste)
•    Salt and pepper (to taste)

Recipe: Place all of the items into a food processor. Blend until creamy. Add in more olive oil if the mixture is too thick. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

The benefit: Red peppers contain lots of vitamins – plus they’re refreshing!

Serve with: Believe it or not, cup up red bell peppers!

Plain Hummus
•    1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
•    Olive Oil
•    Juice from ½ a lemon (or 3 tbs (or more/less to taste)
•    2-3 cloves garlic (or more/less to taste)
•    Salt and pepper (to taste)

Recipe: Place all of the items into a food processor. Blend until creamy. Add in more olive oil if the mixture is too thick. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

The benefit: It’s healthy, delicious, and better for you than other store-bought dips!

Serve with: Any veggie you like! People also use snack crackers, pretzels, etc., but I prefer veggies.





Photo Via Kate In The Kitchen

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