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What is hummus?
Hummus is a delicious Middle Eastern chickpea spread that is great as a dip for everything from carrots to pretzels, as a spread on tofu sandwiches, dolloped into roasted veggie wraps, mixed into salads, and more.
And yes, hummus is almost always vegan, but there are some exceptions.
What is hummus made of?
Hummus is a spread made out of garbanzo beans. Classic hummus is made with only a few simple ingredients:
- Garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)
- Tahini (a product made from ground sesame seeds)
- Olive oil or water
- Lemon juice
These ingredients are all combined to create the smooth, creamy, delicious spread we know and love. There are, of course, many variations and additions that you can use to make the hummus a bit fancier.
The classic hummus above is a great base that you can add several flavors and ingredients to: don’t be afraid to try some new things out with your hummus.
Roasted red peppers, pesto, sriracha, avocado, black beans, caramelized onion, and more have all been stirred into the base mix to make some truly delicious dips for our delectation. Get creative!
Is hummus vegan?
Now for the question you’ve been waiting to be answered: is hummus vegan?
Like I said before, classic hummus is made with simple ingredients that are all plant-based. However, people get fancy with their add-ins when it comes to hummus. Some hummus types (whether they’re homemade or store-bought) can contain non-vegan ingredients that you have to watch out for.
For example, some brands have different flavors and types of hummus. While most are vegan, they do sell a few flavors that contain dairy products.
This is a rarity though: many popular brands of hummus sell almost exclusively vegan flavors.
Ingredients to watch out for
The main culprit you need to look out for is dairy. Dairy products seem to sneak into foods that they just don’t need to be in, don’t they?
Sometimes hummus brands will add Greek yogurt, cheese, milk, or other ingredients to hummus. If a flavor seems like it might have dairy (like a pesto flavor, for example) it can’t hurt to quickly scan the ingredients and double-check.
Is hummus good for you?
It’s easy to assume that something so delicious must be unhealthy for you. But that’s another reason why hummus is so amazing: it’s delicious and nutritious.
Hummus is made from beans, which means it’s packed with healthy plant-based protein. This will help keep you full, build muscle, and fill some of your daily protein requirements.
Being made of beans also means that hummus is high in fiber. Fiber has many benefits including aiding in digestion, controlling blood sugar levels, managing cholesterol, and more. Most people are deficient in fiber: 97% of people don’t get enough of this essential nutrient!
One serving of hummus provides you with almost 1/4th of your daily required fiber intake.
One thing that worries some people is the fat content of hummus since it contains both tahini and olive oil. However, studies show that people who eat more hummus tend to have a lower BMI and lower body weight.
Also, studies show that the combination of the fats and the fiber in hummus can help curb your appetite and make you feel fuller for longer. This can lead to weight loss since you won’t be as hungry and overeat on calories.
How to make hummus
For those who don’t want to purchase hummus or feel a little creative, making your hummus could not be easier! You will only need a few ingredients and a food processor or blender.
I’d recommend a powerful food processor, as my first attempt was a little too grainy for my liking!
Ingredients for homemade hummus
To make hummus, you will need the following ingredients:
- 400g of canned chickpeas
- 100ml of lemon juice
- 150 ml of olive oil
- 125g tahini
- 1 ½ tsp of ground coriander
- Five cardamom pods
- Salt to taste
The added herbs and spices are entirely optional; you can adjust your hummus to your taste. Once you’ve cracked it, why not get creative with your hummus?
Instructions to make hummus
You can follow this simple method below:
- Drain your chickpeas and set the water to one side
- You can warm them in the microwave gently, although it is not entirely necessary.
- Tip the chickpeas into the food processor with lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, and ground coriander.
- Crush the seeds from your cardamom pods and add these. You can add some salt to taste too here.
- Blend the mixture until it is smooth in your food processor.
- Here you can taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- If the hummus is looking dry, you can add some of the chickpea water and mix it through.
- Serve immediately with any garnish or sides of your choice.
The above recipe will make your standard hummus; there are plenty of great options such as red pepper or harissa hummus; just check all the ingredients are vegan before adding them to your chickpea mix!
What do you eat with hummus?
Now that you’ve made or bought your vegan hummus, you have to decide what to eat it with. What do you eat with hummus? Well, you have a lot of options.
You can eat hummus as a dip with pita bread, pita chips, or fresh veggies.
You can spread it onto a wrap or sandwich stuffed with roasted veggies, tofu, and more.
You can use it to make a delicious salad dressing.
You can even make a dessert hummus with chocolate tahini that tastes like brownie batter.
How to store hummus
Your hummus can be stored in your fridge, whether it is shop-bought or homemade. Be sure to check the date of any prepared hummus and not use it after its use-by date.
Suggested read: Is hummus healthy? Top 8 benefits of hummus
Your homemade hummus should last a few days in the fridge. You should be able to tell if it has gone off with any smell or color changes to your hummus.
Any homemade hummus can be used immediately or stored in the fridge in an airtight container until you are ready to use it. Thankfully, it is so quick and easy to make you never have to wait to have your hummus fix!
Your hummus will also be fine out of the fridge for a few hours, so why not chop some carrots, fill a pot and take your hummus on a nice picnic? If it has been out of the fridge for a while, though, be sure to consume it or throw it away as it can go off.
Can I freeze hummus?
You can indeed freeze your hummus! Those batch cookers in the room can rejoice! Simply pour your hummus into an airtight container, label it, and pop it in the freezer. It’s best not to fill the container to the top, as it can expand when frozen.
When ready, you can remove your hummus and allow it to defrost in the fridge for 24 hours before using it. But be aware, the texture of your hummus can change when frozen.
Defrosted hummus will have a grainer texture than your fresh hummus, which many people don’t like. You can rectify this by blending your hummus again with a little water, although many people argue it is not the same.
The choice is yours, but I would rather enjoy my hummus fresh and ready to go!
So there you have it. Hummus is indeed vegan! Not only is it affordable to buy, but it is also straightforward to make!