What is Hummus?

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Hummus is a protein- packed food made from chickpeas and tahini which is very popular in the Middle- East. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and has a texture of peanut butter. Hummus is usually paired with pita or other breads.

“Hummus” is an Arabic word meaning “chickpea”. Chickpea is a kind of vegetable that has been growing at the Middle East and India for thousands of years. Others say that it also grows on the gardens of Babylon. The real origin of Hummus is unknown for it has been produced thousands of years ago with different variations on many regions. Some cuisine-related sources talk about a folklore tale in which hummus is one of the oldest known prepared foods. Others believe of a legend that hummus originated in the 12th century by Saladin but this information is still on debate.

Though the origin of hummus is unclear, Chickpea, which is the main ingredient of it, has known to be cultivated during the ancient Palestine and was one of the earliest crops in Mesopotamia and Rome. Also, some of the Greek philosophers like Plato and Socrates talk about the hummus’ nutritional value in their writings.

Hummus has a lot of nutritional value for it is packed with protein, good carbs and fiber. Also, Nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos said that it is so rich in protein, it helps curb hunger cravings and it balances blood sugar levels while its iron content can boost your energy. Other nutritionists says it is a good substitute for mayonnaise in making sandwiches or spreads because hummus gives you only 1 gram of fat for every one serving compared to 5grams that you can get from mayo. It also very easy to prepare for you only need chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic cloves and salt. Dump them all in the food processor and whirl away. After a few clicks, viola! You have your own authentic hummus.

Despite of the hummus’ nutritional benefits, it is not a magical dip that you can eat whenever you want to. Though it delivers more protein than any other dip, it is a hidden calorie trap for each jar contains up to 700 calories. One serving of hummus (two tablespoons) is equivalent to 5 dips that has 50 to 80 calories in most brands. Having one serving is harmless, but the delicious dip is too overpowering that it can make you fall into mindless eating and consume more than one serving in one sitting. This makes you eat about 300 calories from the hummus alone and then add the calories from pita bread. Get the picture? To better manage this, watch your portion sizes and substitute pita bread with carrots, celery or broccoli to have a better and healthier snack.

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