Post # 223 The #1 Spread In The World!

February 26, 2014 at 2:45 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

No, it’s not peanut butter, and it’s not cow’s milk butter.  It’s hummus.  A wonderful spread made from chickpeas, olive oil, lemon, garlic and other ingredients.  I came to hummus pretty late in life, not until I was in my 40s.  Since then, I’ve eaten probably 50 gallons of the stuff.  Sometimes I eat it as my entire meal.  It’s one of those perfect vegetarian meals.

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I’ve had it as thick as toothpaste and as thin as gravy.  I’ve dipped veggies, various breads, crackers, chips, or just spoons into it.  I’ve tasted some of the rarest spices thinly sprinkled over the top; I’ve tasted the choicest grilled meats stirred into it.  It’s a great vehicle for flavors of every kind.

But hummus has some great health benefits, too.  Hummus is rich in protein.  Because of this, hummus can help control food cravings and be part of an effective weight management program.  It can also help balance blood sugar spikes so can be effective in fighting some diseases like diabetes.  It also tends to be rich in iron and can help boost energy.

Hummus is high in fiber.  The dietary fiber that can help control cholesterol.  Recent studies have shown that increasing dietary fiber with chickpeas has a measurable impact on cholesterol.  The jury is still out on the final impact, but right now it’s favorable.  The folates found in chickpeas also has an impact on colorectal cancer in addition to the fiber which helps promote the growth of health bacteria in the gut.

Hummus almost seems like a super food, doesn’t it?

It’s also incredibly easy to make.  Start with a 16 0z can of chickpeas.  Put them and 1/4 cup of juice in a blender or food processor.  Add 3-5 tablespoons of freshly squeezed (and strained) lemon juice; the amount depends on how tart you like it.  Put one to two cloves of minced garlic in with a half teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, the best quality you can find and afford.  The final ingredient is 1 1/2 tablespoons of tahini.  Tahini can be difficult to find sometimes.  It’s sesame seed paste.  It acts as a binder and flavor enhancer.  I see it in the larger supermarkets and in specialty markets.  It’s worth looking for.  Once all the ingredients are in the blender or food processor, blend the heck out of it until is a paste.  This will take longer than you think, up to six minutes sometimes.  Put the hummus in a bowl and make a small well in it.  Pour a small amount of olive oil over the spread and into the well.  Garnish with your favorite herbs.  Serve immediately with your favorite dipping items.  Those can be anything from pita bread to cherry tomatoes.

There are tons of variations that can be added.  Grilled meat cut into very very small bits and highly seasoned can be added.  I’ve seen roasted garlic added to it.  I’ve seen avocado, jalapenos, roasted bell peppers, sweet potatoes, even thai curry added to it.  It’s just a matter of taste and experimentation.

When the Partner/Spouse and I were first dating, I made lunch for him to take to work the next day.  I made a roast beef sub sandwiches, but I spread a layer of hummus on it.  It was a spectacular hit.  I got the idea while I was in Australia.  One of the ladies we were working with brought in hummus, falafel, baba ganoush (basically an eggplant equivalent of hummus), grilled lamb, onion, tomatoes, and lettuce along with some kind of flat bread.  I ate myself sick on it.  Boy was that good stuff.

Okay, I’ve talked enough about hummus.  Go eat some.  It’s good and good for you!

Enjoy!

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2 Comments

  1. Man, I’ve been a Hummus fan since way back in my Limo driving days. ( boss was Lebanese)
    A couple years ago I made my mom convert…and she’s a really picky eater ! Now she serves it at almost every family gathering.
    And, when I can find Horseradish flavored Hummus I feel like I hit the lottery ! It seems to be seasonal or something
    I’ll even add whole chick peas to Hummus and roll it in a tortilla with lettuce and some pepper jack cheese…. pretty killer !

    • Yeah, I’ve seen the whole chickpeas added to hummus, too. I went to a party in Saudi Arabia one time where all that was served were various hummus bowls with different dipping mediums. That whole tortilla thing sounds good, too!


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