Mashed chickpea concoction may sound highly questionable but in actual fact is an amazingly delicious treat enjoyed by many cultures for centuries. High in protein, low in fat, hummus is a nutrient packed snack that does wonders to your body.Â
Gone are the days when you must travel to a country in the Middle East, or at least to your nearest Mediterranean grocery store, to experience Hummus. Hummus is literally taking over the gourmet cooler section of grocery stores across the country, and has become as much a part of a falafel sandwich as it is a staple of the modern American lunchbox.
This chickpea concoction comes in a number of flavors and styles from roasted red pepper, to roasted garlic, to pesto; but ask any hummus aficionado and they are likely to tell you that most of the impure forms of hummus are blasphemy, or at least not authentic enough to be considered for consumption.
Traditional hummus is made from a combination of pureed chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lemon juice, olive oil, a paste made from ground sesame seeds called tahini, salt, and garlic. Hummus can be used as a healthy alternative to spreads and dips.
The amazing taste and creative opportunities for hummus are not its only assets. Hummus is also a nutrient rich food, chock full of amino acids, protein, iron, vitamin B6, vitamin C, to name a few. In addition, hummus contains tryptophan, making it a meat free alternative.
Here are some ideas for using hummus in your everyday cooking!
1. Use it as a spread, condiment or main ingredient for sandwiches, wraps, pita pockets, and more. Hummus has a flavor that works with almost any sandwich or other lunch item. It is as versatile as mayonnaise and mustard, yet offers great nutritional value.
2. Use hummus as a dip for pita chips, tortilla chips, vegetables, and more. This is a great way to get kids to eat their veggies without resorting to high fat options like sour cream-based dips. Kids don’t know how great hummus is, and a side of this chickpea delight will make those carrot sticks disappear.
3. A large bowl of hummus drenched in olive oil, and with a side of warm pita, is a great main dish. Combine it with other Mediterranean delicacies like grape leaves, grilled lamb skewers, and rice for a delicious and healthy meal.
Hummus is in many ways a miracle food, and so easy to prepare at home. As a main dish or as a spread or dip – try it, you might like it!
Featured Image Photo Credit: [http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hummus_with_chickpeas_230px.jpg]