Hummus: The Healthy Dip

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Genesis 1:29 — And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

Hummus is a dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is that creamy dip that hails from the Middle East and has a reputation as a clean, healthy food. It deserves it. As an appetizer and dip, hummus is scooped with flatbread, such as pita. It is sometimes served with tortilla chips or crackers around the globe. It can be found in most grocery stores in North America.

Chickpeas, the main ingredient of conventional hummus, have appreciable contents of dietary fiber. As hummus recipes vary, so does nutritional content, depending primarily on the relative proportions of chickpeas, tahini and water. Hummus provides roughly 170 calories for 100 grams, and is a good to excellent source of dietary fiber, B vitamins, and several dietary minerals, protein, manganese and other nutrients.

All the main ingredients are super foods in their own right. It’s convenient to buy a plastic container of hummus at the store, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to whip up at home. You’ll save a few bucks and know exactly what’s in your hummus.

Easy hummus recipe

Better than store-bought

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)

1/4 cup well-stirred tahini

1 small garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons water

Dash ground paprika, for serving

Directions: In a food processor or blender, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for one minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl or blender then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended.

Open, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; one to two minutes. Most likely, the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add two to three tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.

Alice Russell, also known as “Me Me,” is a guest columnist who resides in the Randolph/Saxe area. Her email address is

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