Made from chickpeas, hummus is chock full of health benefits. What many people don’t recognize, however, is that chickpeas are very calorie heavy. Though those calories are packed full of nutritional value, they should be monitored carefully. Only one cup of chickpeas contains 729 calories, and a recipe for four servings contains nearly two cups.
Classic hummus recipes use chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, a sesame seed paste called tahini, and a few spices. Most of those ingredients are healthy for you, but the chickpeas and olive oil both kick in significant amounts of hummus calories. Between the 1460 calories from the chickpeas and the 240 added by the olive oil, hummus can be a very calorie heavy dish. Hummus spreads are easy to make, and there are many recipes with hummus that provide excellent flavor. Because hummus calories are relatively high, however, it’s important to make sure that the other components of any recipe containing it are not also high in calories. Here are a few suggestions!
Easy hummus recipes are fairly easy to come by. The most troublesome part of the process for many is simply locating tahini. This creamy paste made from sesame seeds can usually be found in large grocery stores or in specialty markets. Another challenge associated with making hummus is the debate about the preparation of the chickpeas. Many insist on soaking and cooking their own dried chickpeas, but others opt to go with canned chickpeas instead. Also in the chickpea debate is an argument about skinning the chickpeas. Removing the skins does make for smoother hummus, but one can takes about 10 minutes to shell.
To make hummus, start by combining a quarter cup of tahini with the juice from one lemon in a food processor until it’s smooth and creamy. Then add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a little minced garlic, some cumin, and a little salt and process for 30 seconds or so. For a spicy hummus dip, add a little cayenne pepper. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, then add half the can to the food processor and process for a minute before adding the other half of the can. Process it until the hummus is thick and smooth. If it’s too thick or chunky, slowly add two tablespoons of water while the food processor runs. Serve it in a bowl and drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on top.
Remembering hummus calories as an obstacle, we suggest that you use hummus with otherwise low calorie foods.
- Mix spicy hummus dip up with egg yolks for deviled eggs with some kick.
- Serve it with veggies instead of pita chips for an appetizer or finger food.
- Use it as a spread on a sandwich with microgreens and peppers.
- Serve spicy hummus dip with black beans and a lime viniagrette for a summer salad.
Because it has so many nutritional benefits, hummus is a great addition to most meals, as long as your careful about compensating for calories. Whip up a batch and see what else you can come up with! Read more articles like this.