Hummus is a Middle-Eastern dip, made out of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), combined with toasted sesame seeds or sesame paste (tahini), olive oil and spices to make an aromatic, flavorful, and extremely versatile dish, that pairs well with breads, vegetable sticks, salads, and wraps!
I love hummus. And here’s why!
And that means it’s easy to eat, it’s spreadable and dip-able, and most kids will like it, or at least try it!
Mine tried it, loved it, and hasn’t stopped asking for it!
It’s sweet (chickpeas, oil, sesame).
It’s a little sour (lemon).
It’s a bit salty (sea salt).
It’s bitter (cumin, sesame).
It’s even pungent (garlic).
Basically, it’s a tastebud party. It’s got something for everyone!
The health benefits.
It’s nutrient dense: At 140 calories per 1/3 cup (average recipe), hummus isn’t considered a “low-calorie” food but it most certainly IS a nutrient dense food, which means it provides a good amount of your daily nutrients in a fairly small does.
For example, just 1/3 cup of hummus provides 4 grams of protein, 16 grams of energy carbs, (of which 4 grams is fiber), and 7 grams of heart healthy fat.
Nutrient dense foods are superior to non-nutrient dense foods, or “empty calorie” foods (like baked products, sweetened drinks, fried foods, chips and snack foods, sodas, energy drinks, alcohol…) because they contain more nutrients than calories, and they keep you fuller for longer, which means you are less likely to over-eat.
On top of providing all these good nutrients, since hummus is made up of all whole foods, it doesn’t contain any added solid fats, sugar, or refined starches.
It’s rich in vitamins and minerals: Hummus provides a number of essential vitamins and minerals you need for good health, but are an especially good sources of folate (B vitamin) and iron, a mineral that assists with the delivery of oxygen throughout your body.
Now, about that sandwich!
At the end of the day, you’re only going to eat something if it tastes good, right? And for those of us who love hummus, it’s mainly because we LOVE the taste.
But most of us have only tasted hummus as a dip – with crackers, celery sticks, cucumbers, or toasted pitta bread.
But have you had a hummus sandwich?
It’s my new favorite sandwich. It’s my 7 year old’s too!
Bye-bye peanut butter and jelly. We’ve found something creamier, and more sophisticated.
Like you, I was enjoying my hummus as a snack one day, scooping it up with cucumber sticks.
Then my daughter asked me to make her a sandwich. I looked down at the bowl of hummus and thought, “Let’s give it a shot.”
It was an instant hit.
We even added sliced cucumbers to give the sandwich a little crunch.
Here’s my personal, kid approved, sandwich recipe.
Healthy Hummus Sandwich
- 2 slices of high fiber bread
- 2 tablespoons of creamy hummus
- 4 slices of cucumbers
This sandwich makes a great lunch for moms and kids, or an energy snack late afternoon.
I usually make my own hummus, that way I can control the amount of oil and spices. I love to add cumin to my recipe – a delicious digestive spice. But when I don’t make my own, I buy Hannah Hummus – organic classic, in single serving packets as shown here. One of these “single servings” serves up two hearty sandwiches, which makes them a convenient option.
How to make chickpeas easier to digest
- Soak them well
- Rinse them well
- Cook them well
As I said, I still prefer to make my own hummus (just like I prefer to make most of the food I eat), because not only can I control the amount of ingredients, but I can also assure that the beans have been pre-soaked.
Why is having pre-soaked beans important? Because it greatly improves their digestibility.
Not all of us have digestive issues, but many people DO, especially when it comes to beans and legumes. Chickpeas fall into that category.
So soaking your beans for at least 8 hours (I soak them overnight), and then rinsing and cooking them really well (until they are soft enough to break with your fingers) is the key to making them easier to digest, which basically eliminates, or greatly reduces, the possibility for gas or bloating.
Have you read my Ebook, “Your Best Belly?” I give a lot of great digestion tips in it. Download it directly from the home page.
So, how do YOU like your hummus?