What Is Hummus and How Can It Benefit You?

If you’re looking for healthy snack food then you should learn what hummus is. This famous recipe is made of garbanzo beans, sesame seeds, and herbs/spices. It has lots of nutrients and can be used as a dipping sauce for different foods like veggies.

A Bowl Of Hummus

Are you looking for a delicious dipping sauce? There are many you can make, but the problem is, they’re often loaded with carbs and calories. That includes some popular options like store-bought blue cheese and French onion. These dips can be healthy. However, when you buy dips like a jar of salsa, it often means you’re getting unhealthy ingredients. If you’re on a low-carb diet like keto, you should consider other options like what is hummus. It is one of those foods that many of us have heard of and know it’s healthy—but aren’t 100% sure what it is.

Hummus is the Arabic term for “chickpeas” (garbanzo). It includes some ingredients like sesame seeds and spices/herbs. You might be surprised at how easy the recipe is. You can then dip stuff like bread or vegetables into the sauce. If you’re looking for a healthy dip, then this is one you should consider. The ingredients are loaded with stuff like protein, vitamins, and fiber. You can even tweak the recipe to make versions like curry and spicy. Some big questions are how healthy this food is and whether or not it’s keto-friendly. You can then decide whether to take a dip.   

What Is Hummus?

Experts believe this Middle Eastern food that means “chickpeas” was first made in Egypt. It’s also eaten in other regional countries like Turkey.

One of the main benefits of hummus pairs well with traditional pita bread. However, you can also use it for dipping raw veggies as well. Hummus is a much healthier option than many store-bought tips that are often chock-full of carbs, sugar, and bad fats.

As always, the “fresh is best” rule applies. When you make homemade hummus, you can control what ingredients go into the dip. You can also avoid unhealthy ingredients like artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives often added to store-bought products.

The main ingredients of hummus include:

  • Chickpeas/Garbanzos
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Sea Salt

This dipping sauce is known as a health food due to the various ingredients. For example, the beans and seeds are high in nutrients like protein, iron, and keto-friendly fats. Garlic is a “superfood” that might help fight the common cold and high blood pressure. Lemon is high in Vitamin C. Sea salt is a better option than the regular table salt.

Another benefit of this staple food is it’s easy to tweak to make different versions. For example, you can make varieties that feature beets or curry, or even spice things up with some “heat.” That’s tougher to do with other dips.

Is hummus keto-friendly? In short, the answer is: not really. One cup of chickpeas has 45g of carbs, which is 90% of what you’re usually allowed for one day on Keto (50g)

However, simply swap out the chickpeas and swap in:

  • Almonds
  • Artichoke
  • Avocado
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini

Basic Hummus Ingredients

1. Chickpeas/Garbanzo

As noted, these beans are quite Keto-friendly. However, they’re still quite healthy. They were first grown in the Middle East but now are cultivated in other warm climates. In one cup of chickpeas you get:

  • Calories: 269
  • Carbs: 45g.
  • Protein: 15g
  • Fats: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 0g

You also get many micronutrients like Vitamin K (potassium), zinc, manganese, and phosphorous. Chickpeas are also vegan/grain/gluten-free, so there’s that.  

2. Sesame Seed Paste

The fancy name is “tahini” but it’s still mushy sesame seeds. It’s made by first soaking the seeds then crushing them to separate the bran/kernels. The paste is also an ingredient in Asian cuisine.

One cup of sesame seeds gives you:

  • Calories: 825
  • Carbs: 34g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Fats: 72g

You’ll get about half of daily protein, 70% of fiber, 111% of iron, 125% of magnesium, and (wait for it) 140% of calcium. Sesame seeds are loaded with vitamins and minerals.

3. Garlic

This herb’s cousins include onions and shallots. It’s loaded with nutrients including manganese (23%), Vitamin B6 (17%), Vitamin C (15%). Many people also use garlic as medicine or daily eat some raw garlic. It also might keep away vampires but more research is needed.

4. Lemon

This is another superfood that’s loaded with Vitamin C. One lemon provides nearly 90% of your daily intake.

5. Sea Salt

This is a healthier option versus regular table salt. It’s made when seawater evaporates. Sea salt is loaded with minerals like calcium and potassium. Another benefit of sea-based salt is doesn’t have an overpowering taste so you can still taste the other ingredients.

6. Olive Oil

This is a key ingredient of various diets like the Keto Diet and the Mediterranean Diet. It’s loaded with good fats like omega-3. It’s best to pick extra virgin olive oil since it’s the least processed and provides the most nutrients.

Healthy Hummus Variants

1. Artichoke/Kale

This is a great low-carb option that includes two super-healthy foods. There are no beans but it’s full-flavored. It also stays good refrigerated for a couple of days.

2. Onions

This option includes caramelized onions. You’ll have to slow-cook the herbs in olive oil. That provides a good-tasting hummus. You can even cook up some extra onions to toss on your favorite sandwiches.

3. Mushroom

If you’re a fan of the fungus, then you should try out this one. It includes roasted mushrooms that give the hummus a meaty taste that will be a big hit at your next party.

4. Roasted Carrots

This one combines the high-Vitamin A veggie and the famous Indian spice. Roasting the carrots helps to bring out the food’s sweet flavor.

5. Creamy

This hummus recipe requires an easy hack. Just buy dried chickpeas and soak them the night before making the healthy dip. It will take some extra time, but you’ll get creamy goodness, so it’s worth it.

6. Greek Salad

This one is light/fresh and includes some iconic ingredients from Greek salad: feta cheese and olives. It’s a great fusion dish that combines a Mediterranean salad with Middle Eastern dip.

7. Red Lentils

If you want hummus with an alternative bean then this is a great option. The cumin adds some extra pizzazz.

8. Buffalo

This is a meatless version of the famous buffalo wing dip. It features flavor from paprika, cumin, and hot sauce. Try it with bell peppers or celery.

9. Garlic/Rosemary

Spice up your life (literally) with this hummus recipe. The rosemary balances the strong flavor of garlic. You can also use this dip for toast/cracker spreads.

10. Avocado

This is a superfood that’s keto-friendly. It’s high-fat but that includes the healthy kind. This version gives you lots of nutrients and provides a guacamole hybrid you could try out after learning what is hummus.

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