you know the one from that local Mediterranean restaurant (heck, it may be the reason you keep going back)...it is so creamy and delicious that it leaves you thinking about it days later, even craving it from time to time.
Then, maybe you have bought hummus at the store, or even made it at home, and it never quite compares to that lusciously creamy restaurant version.
We have a secret to share with you!
But first, we all probably know, but just to be sure...
what is hummus?
This staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines is a creamy dip or spread made from chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) that are mashed and blended with lemon juice, olive oil, tahini (ground sesame seeds) and garlic.
Believe it or not, hummus recipes started showing up in cookbooks as early as the 13th century!
Is hummus healthy?
Yes! Hummus is loaded with beneficial nutrients and health benefits:
- It's low in saturated fat.
- It's high in fiber and protein thanks to the chickpeas and tahini. The healthy bacteria in our guts love the fiber!
- The olive oil and tahini include omega 3's to help prevent cardiovascular disease.
- The oil, garlic, tahini and chickpeas all have great anti-inflammatory properties!
- It provides serotonin to help reduce stress and anxiety and help provide a good night's sleep.
- Its complex carbs will help keep you feeling full (which is why it makes a great snack!)
- Plus, it pairs perfectly with fresh, crisp veggies, amping up the nutrition even more!
Which is better, homemade or store-bought?
Like most foods, homemade hummus has clear advantages over the store-bought varieties. It is super-easy to prepare and allows you to customize the flavors for whatever you are in the mood for. Your homemade creation will cost less and allows you to use higher quality ingredients (and know EXACTLY what ingredients and going in).
While store-bought hummus can certainly be convenient - and a good option when you can't make your own - just make sure to read those ingredient labels! Many store-bought versions include preservatives and lower quality oils like soybean or safflower oil.
In our experience, homemade hummus provides better taste, texture and flavor vs. the store-bought versions...plus, it can save you some money!
So, what's the secret to that creamy, dreamy hummus?
Maybe some of you know this trick...it was actually shared with us by a loyal Eat REAL America member, and honestly we kept thinking...really?! We finally tried it and let's just say, this might just be a game-changer in your homemade hummus!
There are 2 things that help create that crazy creamy texture:
- Boiling the chickpeas with a little baking soda!
- Adding 2 Tbsp of very cold water!
How to make homemade hummus:
- Prepare the chickpeas! You can certainly use dried chickpeas, but we find it challenging to remember to soak them overnight, so we tend to opt for canned chickpeas. If using canned chickpeas, boiling them for 20 minutes with 1/2 tsp of baking soda helps them break down and helps create that creamy consistency. You can then drain and cool them by rinsing with cool water. Keep in mind, boiling the chickpeas isn't required...you can just rinse and add them straight from the can, but you may not get that super-creamy texture.
- Blend it all together! Add your hummus ingredients in a food processor, blender, or Ninja, along with 2 Tbsp of very cold or ice water. This cold water is another key to creating the creamy consistency. In our everyday hummus you will add 2 garlic cloves, juice from a large lemon (about 2 Tbsp), 1/4 cup of tahini paste, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 2 Tbsp of plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 tsp cumin (which adds great flavor) and 1/4 tsp of salt. Puree the ingredients for up to 3-4 minutes, or until you get your desired consistency, adding another 1 to 2 Tbsp of cold water if it seems too thick.
The end result?
The possibilities are endless!
Check out our Everyday Hummus for a traditional version, and then get ready to get creative because you can also incorporate other healthy, REAL ingredients to amp the flavor even more and add some pizazz! Try these creations:
- Roasted carrot hummus
- Garlic dill pickle hummus
- Roasted beet hummus
- Roasted garlic white bean hummus
- Spicy sweet potato hummus
- Thai-inspired hummus
- Cilantro lime hummus
- Avocado hummus
Make your hummus a sweet treat!
If you haven't already, check out our coaching tip as well as our recipes for different versions of dessert hummus: chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolatey brownie batter and cinnamon-infused snickerdoodle cookie...all made with REAL ingredients!
Making homemade hummus is so much easier than you might think!
If you have not tried it yet, we encourage you to do so soon! And, if you are already an expert, please share with us your favorite versions!