What is Hummus?

IMG_2336A decade or so ago, party dips were mostly relegated to guacamole and salsa. The surge in popularity of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet (#Mediterraneanlife), however, has seen a huge spike in the number of hummus enthusiasts, a fortunate event since the dip is both delicious and healthy.

Hummus (#Inolivia) is a great trifecta of macronutrients — combining a good source of protein, fiber and healthy fat. At the same time it’s also a micronutrient dense dip providing good calcium and iron content, and packed with vitamin E and B and minerals like magnesium and potassium.

The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are plentiful in the Mediterranean. One of the healthiest legumes out there, chickpeas pack a seriously impressive portfolio of benefits. Chickpeas are high in plant-based protein, magnesium, potassium, and have a low glycemic index. Chickpeas also contain fiber. Fiber helps with regularity and helps to prevent constipation. This high fiber content can help promote weight loss and cardiac health.

The next best-known component of hummus is tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds, that’s also full of protein. Sesame seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals like folate, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, selenium and zinc.

Other commonly included ingredients are some form of oil, garlic, lemon juice and various ground spices for flavor, like cumin. The olive oil used to puree the chickpeas is a source of healthy and unsaturated fat.

HUMMUS ORIGINS

The debate over the origin of hummus is old — probably as old as hummus itself. The Greeks like to claim it as their own, but the Arabs are equally adamant in their claims. Even the Israeli’s claim it, but we’ll get to that later. So, who is right? The honest truth is that no one really knows for sure.

The Greeks and Egyptians were trade partners for centuries which may explain with many of the foods in Greek and Arab cuisine are similar, if not identical.

Regardless of where it’s originally from, hummus is a delicious dip and spread that’s enjoyed by all cultures, not just Greek and Middle Eastern. You can now find in just about every western supermarket and many mainstream restaurants. so it’s become a great example of a “crossover” food, so much so that some people find it so common now that they don’t even realize its roots.

(Sources: https://health.howstuffworks.comhttps://www.thespruceeats.com)

Interesting ways to have hummus in your meals

Essentially a part of the Mediterranean cuisine, hummus comes as a healthy alternative to dips and spreads loaded with saturated fats.

breakfast-1804457__480Holly hummus! Made from crushed chickpeas blended with lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, garlic, and salt, this spread is an excellent source of vitamins B6 and C, protein and fibre. It promotes weight loss as the fibre content in hummus keeps you full for longer and curbs your calorie intake. According to recent research, dietary fibre may reduce the risk of colorectal cancers as it is rich in folate (a type of vitamin B). Moreover, the olive oil used in hummus provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Essentially a part of the Mediterranean cuisine, hummus comes as a healthy alternative to dips and spreads loaded with saturated fats. It comes with different herbs and flavours. Here is how you can include hummus in your meals to make them more yummy and health-friendly.

Soup Enhancer
To make your soup more healthy and creamy, stir in a few tablespoons of your favourite flavour of hummus.

Alternative For Mayonnaise and Sour Cream
Use hummus as a spread over your sandwich or burger, instead of using mayonnaise or sour cream. It is a more nutritious and tastier substitute. Take a slice of toasted whole-grain rye bread and top it with hummus and veggies your choice.

Salad Dressing
You can use it with your salads to add a dash of interesting colours. Hummus comes in varied flavours and hues. For example, beet hummus is red while the parsley-based version is green. Even a dollop of flavoured hummus will make your salad more lip-smacking.

Tomato Filling And Topping
Hummus makes a great topping for sliced tomatoes. Take cherry tomatoes, cut off the tops, scoop out the seeds and then fill each one with hummus by using a piping bag. You can also take bigger tomatoes, fill them with hummus to make a scrumptious appetizer.

Pasta Sauce
Hummus could lend a unique taste to your pasta sauce. Combine two parts hummus with one part vegetable stock. Add roasted red peppers, olives, or fresh tomatoes for a fresh Mediterranean twist.

(Source: http://www.thehealthsite.com)