Everyone is familiar with hummus, right? That pasty substance made from crushed garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and sesame seeds and spices. Years ago you had to go to a Middle Eastern restaurant to get it, but now lots of restaurants serve this as a tasty appetizer with pita bread. You can even pick it up at the supermarket.
I am here to suggest that you take some home. Not from the restaurant. You can find it on many grocer’s shelves. I get the excellent Sabra brand at Costco in 2 lb tubs. Sabra calls this their secret recipe. I don’t know about that, but I do consider it the most delicious hummus I have ever had.
But that is personal. Hummus itself is really good for you no matter the brand.
According to Wikipedia, “Hummus is high in iron and vitamin C, and also has significant amounts of folate and vitamin B6. The chickpeas make it a good source of protein and dietary fiber; the tahini consists mostly of sesame seeds, which are an excellent source of the amino acid methionine, complementing the proteins in the chickpeas. Depending on the recipe, hummus carries varying amounts of monounsaturated fat. Hummus is useful in vegetarian and vegan diets and like other combinations of grains and pulses, when eaten with bread it serves as a complete protein.”
The Sabra website offers the following, “Hummus has many healthy attributes:
• High soluble fiber content can reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol)
• Higher in protein than ground beef-without any animal fats
• A good source of iron
• Low in carbohydrates contains no added sugar
• Dairy, trans-fat, and cholesterol free.”
I usually serve it on multi-grain crackers. Many folks copy the restaurants and tear up pieces of pita bread. A really nice and healthy cracker would be the Wasa crispbreads Number 6 on the Countdown of best foods from the Nutrition Action Newsletter of the Center for Science in the Public Interest
The Sabra hummus offers the following nutritional data:
Serving size: 2 tablespoons (1 oz). Calories 70, total fat 6 grams, saturated fat 1 gram, cholesterol 0 grams, sodium 130 mg, total carbohydrates 3 grams, dietary fiber 0 grams and protein 1 gram.