I don’t know about you but I love hummus. The first time I was introduced to hummus, it was store bought and not really good enough to write home about. However, one day I was craving hummus and didn’t want to spend $5 for a tub. So I decided I could make it myself. Shouldn’t be that hard, right? Right! It isn’t hard at all and the beautiful part is you can make it however you want. The way I look at it, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are my canvas and all my herbs, spices and other ingredients are my paints. Voilà, Van Gogh hummus!
Lucky for us all, hummus isn’t just a painting using food. It is also very healthy…and these days that is what I am all about. Trying to find healthy and nutritious foods that my whole family likes is often times difficult – but not with hummus. It can be used as a dip with crackers or vegetables, as a spread on flatbread, as a filling in a sandwich and so on. I wouldn’t go as far as adding it in my smoothie or dipping my cookies in it but yes, I will smoother my finger in it and lick it off. Yum!
You might be asking yourself, “What are some of the health benefits of hummus?” Well, I’ve been reading a lot about health lately and here’s some good stuff I recently discovered.
1. Health Benefits of Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
The nutritional benefits of hummus can be rooted down from each of its ingredients. For one, Garbanzo Beans are very healthy because they do not contain any cholesterol or saturated fats. They are also rich in protein. This makes hummus a favorite among vegetarians. Garbanzo Beans are also known to be effective in preventing build up of cholesterol in the blood vessels. Apart from that, it can maintain correct blood sugar levels.
2. Nutritional Value of Tahini
Tahini, meanwhile, is full of fat and calories. However, the fact that it is used sparingly in most hummus recipes and that it mostly contains unsaturated fat means there is not much to worry about. Like chickpeas, tahini is also high in protein. Apart from that, it is a great source of calcium.
3. Healthy Ingredients in Olive Oil
Another healthy ingredient found in hummus is olive oil. As most people know, olive oil is a healthy fat. It has high monounsaturated fat content but low in saturated fat. This oil can thus help regulate cholesterol and protect the heart from various diseases.
4. Health Benefits of Garlic and Lemon Juice
Garlic and lemon juice, meanwhile, are filled with antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress in the body. They also work to improve immune functions and fight of bacteria and viruses.
5. General Health Benefits of Hummus
Hummus as a whole contains plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for improving intelligence and maintaining a healthy heart. On top of it all, this dish also has iron, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, folic acid, and amino acids. Tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine are the amino acids found in hummus that can promote good quality sleep and uplift one’s mood.
Good to know?
Van Gogh Hummus
Makes 6 to 8 servings
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 – 15 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drain & reserve liquid
2 tbls lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
¼ tsp paprika
salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Roasted red peppers
Tahini (very little, it gooooes a long way)
Sun dried tomatoes
substitute 1 can of garbanzo bean for 1 can of white beans
….the sky is the limit!
Place the garlic into the bowl of a food processor or blender, and pulse a few times to chop the garlic slightly. Add the chickpeas and process until well mashed. Add the olive oil and lemon juice. If the mixture is to thick add some of the reserved liquid from the garbanzo beans a little at a time until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
Add the cumin, paprika, pepper and salt. Taste the hummus for flavor, adjust any ingredient for your personal taste. Let chill for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to fully develop.