Whether for parties, snacking or school lunches, hummus provides a healthy alternative to sour cream-based dips and spreads. Hummus is made primarily from chickpeas, a kind bean. Americans don’t consume enough beans. In fact, the recommended weekly amount of beans is 1 1/2 cups, and studies show most people are eating only half that. Just two spoonfuls of hummus dip a day, with a handful of freshly cut vegetables, gets you to your bean recommendation for the week.
And eating more beans should be a health goal. Consuming legumes (beans) four or more times a week, compared to less than once a week, lowers the risk of coronary heart disease by 22%, and the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11%. And hummus is an easy, tasty way to up your bean consumption.
What Exactly is Hummus?
Hummus, while relatively new to the United States, is an ancient food, and dates back to the 13th century in the Middle East. It is made primarily from chickpeas blended with garlic, tahini, and a little oil. Hummus can be mild or spicy, but always has a smooth and hearty consistency perfect for dipping and spreading.
Hummus as a Dip
Perhaps the most common way to eat hummus is simply as a dip with freshly cut vegetables such as cucumber, carrot, celery, and peppers. In addition to the basic roasted garlic flavor of most hummus brands, some hummus brands offer different options, such as olive hummus and roasted red pepper hummus. With hummus as your dip, you’ll eat a whole lot fewer fatty chips and more vegetables. Considering that 9 out of 10 people are not consuming enough vegetables, hummus is an obvious choice. Eating those vegetables and beans also aids in weight management, which has been shown to also lower the risk of diabetes.
Hummus as a Spread
Instead of spreading fatty mayo or butter on your sandwich, consider a hummus spread on a tortilla or pita as part of an easy-to-make wrap. Kids love fun finger-food lunches and cutting the roll-ups into bite sized pieces is ideal.
So spread a little extra flavor, but not extra calories, on your next sandwich. Dip all the vegetables your body needs into a delicious and nutrient-packed hummus dip.