Move over salsa, make way for hummus. The Arabic dip/ spread made from cooked and mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic has become one of the most popular eating accoutrements across the world.
We give you five reasons to embrace the hummus movement:
- It can help manage weight: Hummus is high in protein and iron and leads to a feeling of satiation. You end up feeling fuller for longer through the day. Hummus also makes a great protein-rich snack to get an energy boost before heading to the gym.
- It can keep cholesterol under check: A recent study has shown that consuming chickpeas each day can help reduce your levels of bad cholesterol.
- It’s one of the healthiest spreads and dips: Make friends with hummus if you want to add fibre to your diet. It is low in fat and makes for a great spread for sandwiches. Try it as the only best dip at your next party. No more guacamole, cream cheese or tzatziki.
- It’s super versatile: Hummus is highly customizable and you can create your own varieties with chillies, spinach, edamame, lemongrass, cucumber, coriander, parsley, caramelised onions, sautéed mushrooms, whole chickpeas, olive oil, hard-boiled eggs, paprika, olives and nuts. Hummus blended with red pepper or sun-dried tomatoes is also popular.
- It’s really easy to make: Just about anyone can make hummus – all you need is the ingredients and a mixer/food processor.
How do you eat it? As an appetiser and dip, hummus is usually served with flatbread such as pita. These days, it is also served with tortilla chips or crackers. Traditionally, it is also served as part of a meze or with falafel, grilled chicken, fish or eggplant.
Try Masterchef Jamie Oliver’s best basic hummus recipe. It serves up to four people as a starter.
Ingredients: 400 gm boiled chickpeas, 4 tsp tahini, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 tsp crushed sea salt, 6 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling), 3½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, paprika and coriander/parsley leaves (optional)
Method: Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and tip into the food processor. Add the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and seven tablespoons of the reserved liquid from the cans. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the oil while it runs.
When the mixture is fully combined and smooth, tip it into a serving dish. Drizzle with some more extra-virgin olive oil and decorate with a few whole chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped coriander or parsley leaves, for colour.
Nutritional values per 100 gm
Energy: 177 kcal
Carbohydrates: 20.1 gm
Sugars: 0.3 gm
Dietary fibre: 4 gm
Fat: 8.6 gm (Saturated: 1.1 gm, monounsaturated 4.9 gm, polyunsaturated 2.1 gm)
Protein: 4.9 gm