The Nutrition, History, and Deliciousness of… Hummus

The History

 

 

In recent years, hummus has gone global, and can now be found almost anywhere in the world – though it may be under other names including “Houmous” or “Humus”. It's become so common in our everyday life that many people have no idea about its roots.

After much research on the history and origin of hummus, there are still questions left unanswered. The debate of the origin of hummus seems to be an age old one. Both Greeks and Arabs profess that this dish originated in their own countries—so who is right? Some Israeli's even claim it as their own. Food scholars have done their research and each have their opinions. From age old historical information, including that from the Old Testament of the Bible, it is likely that hummus originated in ancient Egypt. A number of historical sources, seem to indicate that hummus dates back to 13th century Egypt.

Chickpeas were flowing in the lush regions of the Middle East and were a commodity for many. The word hummus originates from the Arabic word for chickpea. Though the recipe varies from nation to nation and home to home, historical documents show a dish very similar to what we eat today that was consumed in Cairo in the 13th century.

There are many reasons that the origin of hummus are deeply controversial. Greeks and Egyptians traded commodities for centuries and a number of foods within the Greek and Arab cuisine are very similar; for example, stuffed grape leaves are popular in both cultures. Baklava is another favorite within Greek culture, but is common also within a Middle Eastern diet. A number of foods have been borrowed and shared throughout time—making the origin much harder to trace.

Regardless of where it is truly from, hummus is a delicious dip that is enjoyed by almost all cultures, not just Greek, Israeli, and Middle Eastern cultures. You can now find in just about every supermarket and many mainstream restaurants. It has become a prime example of crossover food.

 

Nutritional Value

Hummus (Source: www.livestrong.com)

Hummus, is a simple dip of chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and salt, has the U.S. under a spell. The New York Times reported that the hummus industry has grown from just a $5 million dollar business 15 years ago, to one that totaled $530 million from U.S. food retailers alone in 2012.

If you have never taken a leap into the fabulous world of hummus, I bet you know someone who has because everyone eats hummus these days. This savory dip is irresistible to many but this isn’t a problem because there are ton of ways this dish is healthy and totally acceptable for all!

Hummus can help with maintaining a healthy weight according to nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos. She says that since hummus is so proteinaceous it can help fight hunger cravings and also balance your blood sugar levels. This healthy snack can fill you unlike other unhealthy treats. Because hummus is high in iron content it helps boost energy levels which may help you stay on that treadmill for a few more minutes.

If you are looking for healthier ways to continue to eat your not so healthy favorite foods, hummus is the magical alternative you have searched for. Try replacing the mayonnaise in chicken salad and deviled eggs with hummus for a healthy twist. Hummus is also a great substitute for mayonnaise and other less healthy sandwich spreads. Some even use it as a dip for chicken fingers and buffalo wings rather than ranch and blue cheese dressing. Hummus and pita is also great substitute for chips and queso dip that is so delicious and subtracting those creamy and fried calories can really add up!

Jane Pittaway, an Australian lecturer in Health and Biomedical Science conducted a study on a group of people between 30 and 70 years that were not health conscious. This sample group ate chickpeas every day for three years. The results showed a reduction in their cholesterol levels.

Hummus contains plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for improving intelligence and maintaining a healthy heart. Hummus also contains vitamin B6, manganese, copper, and amino acids including tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine that can promote quality sleep and improve one’s mood.

Chickpeas contain both folate and fiber which may reduce your risk of cancer! Foods that contain folate have been known to reduce the risk of certain cancers because of the nutrient's role healthy cell division. Researchers also believe that dietary fiber helps promote the growth of healthy bacterias in the colon that are protective against cancer.

Hummus also contains garlic and lemon juice, which are filled with antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress in the body. This lovely pair also work to improve immune function and fight off viruses and bacteria.

So be sure to include this super healthy food in your diet!

Hope Hummus

Hope Hummus (Source: Hope Hummus Facebook Page)

One great company to support while satisfying your deepest Hummus Cravings is Hope Hummus . Their products are organic and their creative flavors put a fun twist on the average hummus. As you can see in their name, they are a company that inspires hope. Not only do they serve you with the freshest ingredients, they donate ten percent of their profits to local communities in need.

Recipes

Hummus these day has blended the flavors of virtually all cultures. From jalepeño hummus to roasted red pepper hummus, there is likely a flavor that anyone can love. While it is super convenient to keep a store-bought tub in the fridge, nothing quite compares to the taste of homemade hummus. It’s also easily recognized that homemade food helps you eat much healthier since you know exactly what's in your food. So venture out today and try making this dish yourself! Luckily, home making a batch of hummus is simple—just toss your ingredients in a blender and voila!—but also, this versatile condiment can be turned into a tasty dressing. Simply blend your hummus with broth, water, or wine until you get your desired consistency. Hummus also most healthily serves as a great dip with raw veggies—simply fill a bowl with your hummus and surround the bowl with raw vegetables like carrots, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, sliced cucumber, grape tomatoes, and broccoli or cauliflower florets.

This yummy dish lends itself to many different flavor profiles and is able to keep your taste buds from becoming bored so check out a few of these hummus recipes to get inspired for your own creative hummus adventure!

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook Hummus

Hummus (Source: www.foodnetwork.com)

Ingredients:

4 garlic cloves

2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas

8 dashes hot sauce

 

Directions: Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it's minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature.

 

Jalapeno Hummus

Jalepeno Hummus (Source: allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

1 cup garbanzo beans

1/3 cup canned jalapeno pepper slices, juice reserved

3 tablespoons tahini

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

crushed red pepper to taste

 

Directions: In a blender or food processor, mix the garbanzo beans, jalapeno peppers and reserved juice, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. Season with cumin, curry powder, and crushed red pepper. Blend until smooth.

 

Sources:

www.foodnetwork.com

www.allrecipes.com

tagged with organic, Industry, health food, natural, hummus