Ahhh hummus. This bean dip originally from the Middle East has taken North America by storm. So what makes it so great? This simple dip made from a small number of ingredients actually provides great nutritional value, most of it coming from its main ingredient, chickpeas. Chickpeas are a great source of plant-powered protein, as well as a great source of fibre. Chickpeas have both soluble and insoluble fibre, keeping you feeling full and promoting digestive health at the same time. This combo is great to combat the 3:30 pm snack attack, you know, that post-work-late-afternoon-slump time of the day when you’re most likely to snack uncontrollably (and usually not on the healthiest foods). Hummus is great because it is considered a lower GI (Glycemic Index) food, meaning it won’t cause a huge blood sugar spike, regulating appetite and providing a steady source of energy. The olive oil in hummus provides a good amount of healthy fats (mono- and poly-unsaturated fats), which play a role in lowering cholesterol and promoting heart health. That being said, the fat content in hummus does mean it is higher in calories, so be sure to portion out a small serving before you get snacking. For a great afternoon pick me up, pair 2-3 tablespoons of hummus with some whole-wheat crackers or sliced vegetables.
Seeing as hummus has such a short ingredient list, it’s a super easy recipe to whip up at home if you have a blender or food processor. That way, you know exactly what you are putting into your body (no additives here!). There’s also opportunity for some culinary creativity here – add artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers…you name it – so test out some different flavours and see what fits your fancy. I stuck to basics with this batch, using cumin and paprika for that spicy-sweet flavour that tastes great with some sliced bell peppers and cucumbers for dipping.
Makes approximately 2 cups
- 1 can (19 oz.) of unsalted chickpeas
- ¾ tsp minced garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- Pinch of sea salt
How to make it:
- Open chickpeas. Drain and rinse thouroughly and add to food processor or blender. Add garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, paprika, and sea salt.
- Blend until creamy, adding 1-2 tablespoons of water for desired consistency.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.