Happy Hummus

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Throw your carrot sticks in the air like you just don’t care if you love hummus as much as I do!I eat hummus almost every day and found that making homemade hummus was not only more cost effective but also has more flavor. While store-bought hummus has its place for those needing convenience or traveling, making hummus at home helps control fat and sodium content and generally has fewer calories per serving. Experimenting with different varieties of hummus helps to prevent boredom. Trying new hummus flavors not only releases the creativity of my inner chef but also helps use different nutrients in ways a traditional hummus may not. Research actually shows that those who eat hummus regularly as part of a well-balanced diet have higher intakes of dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fats, vitamins A and E, folate, potassium, magnesium, and iron.1

 

As a soon-to-be dietitian, I like to focus on two of the most important food groups – chickpeas and avocados. Okay, so that might be slightly off, but these two favorite foods of mine are extremely nutrient-dense and easy to add into any meal or snack. If you’re looking to take your hummus to the next level then this Avocado Hummus is the best of both worlds. It combines both the fiber- and protein-rich chickpea with the healthy fats of an avocado. Chickpeas serve as a great vegetarian source of protein offering 6 grams per half cup and provides about 10% of the Daily Value* of iron, especially important for those on a more plant-based diet. Avocados pack additional fiber and unsaturated fats with essential fatty acids to help with satiety. This green goddess fruit also contains vitamins A, E, C and K, B vitamins, potassium, antioxidants, and phytochemicals for healthful aging.1

 

Hummus is much more than a hearty dip for pita chips and raw veggies. Be adventurous with your hummus! Here are a few ways to use this delicious recipe:

-  Spread on sandwiches and wraps

-  Add a dollop to the top of a burger patty

-  Spread on toast with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds

-  Use as a salad dressing for extra protein and fiber

-  Replace the mayo in chicken salad recipes for a Mediterranean twist

-  Combine 2 parts hummus with 1-part vegetable stock for a pasta sauce

Sauce it on a pizza crust and top with roasted veggies

 

Avocado Hummus

1 (15-oz) can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Flesh of 1 large avocado

1 heaping Tbs tahini

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 medium lime, juiced

½ tsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2-3 Tbs fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp black pepper

A dash of sea salt

Warm water as needed

Optional toppings: Drizzle of olive oil, finely chopped fresh cilantro, roasted pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, or black pepper

 

Instructions:

1.     Place all ingredients except the optional toppings in a food processor or highspeed blender. Pulse for about 1 minute, scraping the sides occasionally. Turn on low speed for another minute adding warm water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.

2.     Adjust seasonings to taste. (I love adding extra garlic and cilantro for a true kick!)

3.     Serve with optional toppings and desired sides or try a new way of using your hummus!

4.     Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

 

1Wallace, Taylor C., Robert Murray, and Kathleen M. Zelman. "The nutritional value and health benefits of chickpeas and hummus." Nutrients 8.12 (2016): 766.

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet.

                            

             

                      

 

 

 

Shannon Costello is a dietetic intern nearing the end of her program with Sodexo Distance Dietetic Internships. With a B.S. in Exercise & Sport Science and a post-baccalaureate in dietetics, Shannon has a passion for helping others achieve a healthy balance with food, fitness and overall wellness.

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