This homemade hummus is packed with healthy goodness. Don’t let the calories scare you! These are nutrient rich calories, the kind we all need. The high-calorie ingredients in hummus are the tahini (or sesame butter), and extra virgin olive oil which can be substituted for lighter alternatives, but in my opinion, these greatly contribute to the flavor, richness, authenticity, and nutritional content of the dish.
The word hummus means chickpea in Arabic, which is the primary ingredient in this ancient dish. Chickpeas are a great source of fiber which helps reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). When served with a grain, such as pita, it’s a complete-protein food and extremely low-fat.
Tahini is a paste made by grinding up sesame seeds and dates back as far as 1600 BC. Tahini contains a lot of natural oil, almost 50%, which gives it a high fat content. The oil, however, is mostly in the form of monounsaturated fat which is beneficial for the body since it contains increased levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Tahini is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with a multitude of vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants along with vitamin E in tahini reduces the aging of body cells which helps slow down the aging process. Tahini is an extremely rich source of calcium, one of the best sources, even better than dairy (which is hard for the body to digest). And finally, it is also one of the richest sources of protein, being almost 20% complete protein, it beats out milk, soy beans, most nuts, and sunflower seeds.
Extra virgin olive oil contains extraordinary amounts of antioxidants that fight everything from fat buildup, cravings, inflammation, to helping boost your metabolism. It is also an extremely rich dietary source of monounsaturated fat containing oleic acid, which is a proven fat loss agent when combined with a low-calorie diet.
This goes to show that you can’t always judge a food simply based on the calorie content. The focus should be quality over quantity, when it comes to calories. The high-calorie ingredients in hummus are also high quality, and the health benefits they offer are worth the extra calories. Having said that, you should still exercise portion control. According to this recipe, one serving of hummus is 2 tablespoons per person. Use instead of mayo on sandwiches or in wraps. Makes a perfect mid-day snack with some veggies. Is also great in salad dressings. The possibilities are endless!
- 1 can Chick Peas (15.5 oz)
2 T Tahini
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ cup Low Fat Yogurt
½ Lemon, juiced
1 t Lemon zest
1T Flaxseed meal
1 garlic clove
1 t sea salt
½ t ground cumin
½ t ground coriander seeds
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until a creamy consistency. If too thick, add 2 tablespoons of water and mix.
Makes 12 servings
Nutrients per serving: 76.4 cal, 4.4 g fat, 7.2 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 3.1 g protein