By Vicki Means
When trying to lose weight, it’s important to fill your fridge with nutritional meals and snacks that can help you reach your goals while making you feel full. Hummus has had a rise in popularity the past few years, often making people wonder, “Is hummus helpful for weight loss?”
Fortunately for fans of this classic dip, hummus is a healthy choice that can support healthy weight management when consumed in moderation. What’s more, you can make your own hummus at home with just a few ingredients.
Hummus is a blend of cooked, mashed chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), tahini (ground sesame seeds), lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. It may also include spices, like basil or paprika, for an added flavor kick. Though hummus is known for its popularity in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, it’s popped up in grocery stores across North America and Europe over the years.
Given its mild and simple ingredients, hummus is easily customizable, which makes it an ideal dip that can satiate a variety of cravings. With flavors ranging from roasted garlic to decadent chocolate, there’s no limit to what this chickpea mashup can create. Grab some pita bread, celery, carrots or bell peppers and try out these unique hummus flavors:
- Roasted garlic hummus
- Sun-dried tomato hummus
- Red pepper hummus
- Basil pesto hummus
- Edamame hummus
- Peanut butter hummus
- Black bean hummus
- Sweet potato hummus
- Guacamole hummus
Benefits of Hummus
In terms of weight management, hummus’s adaptability makes it an attractive option when food cravings hit; add a dab of nut butter if you yearn for something fatty or spread on dark chocolate if you hunger for something sweet.
If you’re worried about calories, it’s all about serving size: Most hummus brands or recipes hover around 25 calories per tablespoon. Be mindful of what you’re pairing it with, and consume in moderation.
In addition, hummus provides a variety of nutritional benefits.
Vitamins and Micronutrients
This healthy dip boasts a lineup of vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin K, vitamin C and zinc.
Get your fill of complex carbs with a serving of hummus. Complex carbs are harder for your body to break down and help maintain steady blood sugar levels. Hummus’ low glycemic index may also help with your blood sugar levels too.
With its high fiber content, adding hummus to your meals is a great way to boost your digestive health and help you feel full. Choose a high-fiber food to dip in your hummus, like carrots or broccoli, to make this snack option a win-win.
Classic hummus provides 1.2g of protein per tablespoon. Want to up the protein punch? Mix in some cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt or flavorless protein powder.
How to Make Hummus
Even though you can pick up this tasty spread from your local store, making it from scratch is cost-effective, ensures the addition of only wholesome ingredients and lets you put your own spin on the classic dip. Grab your chef’s hat and try out these quick and easy hummus recipes.
Here’s a classic hummus recipe that uses cumin for a nice kick. You can leave the cumin out if you’re not a big fan.
- 1 15.5-oz can of chickpeas
- 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch fresh black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas.
- Juice the lemon.
- Smash the garlic clove to remove the skin.
- In a food processor, blend the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, cumin, salt and pepper for 1 minute or until smooth.
- Slowly drizzle in olive oil until well blended.
- If your hummus looks a little clumpy, add a tablespoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency.
- Serve this classic hummus with warm pita, pita chips, carrots or sugar snap peas, or spread it on a wrap or sandwich.
Roasted Jalapeño Hummus
Spice up your life with this savory and creamy hummus recipe from Minimalist Baker:
- 2–3 whole jalapeños
- 4–5 garlic cloves
- 1 15-oz can slightly drained chickpeas
- 3–4 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
- Optional: Handful of cilantro
- Optional: 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4–1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 medium lemons and/or limes, juiced
- Optional: Roasted pepitas
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- With the skins still on, place the jalapeños and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle the cloves with a little oil and place in the oven for 15–18 minutes. Make sure the jalapeños get an even roast by rotating them halfway through.
- Take the baking sheet out of the oven, and wrap the jalapeños in foil to let them steam for a few minutes. Then, carefully remove the seeds and skin from the peppers. Or leave the seeds in for more heat.
- Add the chickpeas, oil, cilantro (if using), avocado (if using), cumin, salt, tahini, citrus, peeled garlic cloves and jalapeños (one to start) to a blender or food processor and blend until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. Adjust the taste to your liking by adding additional spice, like cumin or paprika, or more jalapenos.
- Scoop out the hummus and add your pepitas (if using), a drizzle of oil and fresh cilantro on top.
- Serve this tasty dip with pita, tortilla chips or veggies like carrots and bell peppers.
Indulge your sweet tooth with this dessert hummus recipe courtesy of Don’t Waste the Crumbs:
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans or 1 can of garbanzo beans strained and rinsed three times
- 5–4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Only use 3.5 tablespoons of maple syrup.
- Blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. If needed, add water one tablespoon at a time until you reach a smooth consistency. Do a taste test, and if you want the mixture a little sweeter, add the remaining maple syrup.
- Pair the chocolate hummus with strawberries, honey graham crackers or sliced apples for a healthy dessert.