You may have seen or heard about hummus and are intrigued about what the hype is all about. While some people find its appearance a bit disagreeable, this spread slash dip can open a whole new world of flavor and health benefits!
But what does hummus taste like? How can you use it in your meals? What can it do to your body? Read on to find out!
What is Hummus?
Hummus is a dip and spread that originated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East but has been stealing the spotlight in other countries around the world, especially in Europe and North America.
Hummus is made with a blend of cooked and mashed garbanzo beans or chickpeas, tahini which is ground sesame seeds, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and garlic. Sometimes, the chickpeas can be replaced with other beans or legumes, and more spices are added for flavor. To make hummus, simply blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor.
Other favorite twists to hummus include roasted pepper hummus and caramelized onion hummus. Nowadays, you can easily find hummus pre-packaged in shops and supermarkets.
Hummus is often consumed as an appetizer, and a dip served with crackers, chips, or flatbread, usually pita. It also pairs well with grilled fish or chicken, eggplant, or falafels. It can also be served with hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, tomato, parsley, coriander, mushrooms, olives, pine nuts, pickles, and other garnishes.
Hummus is quickly becoming a preferred dip and spread for people, especially health buffs, because it contains less cholesterol and has a myriad of fantastic health benefits, which we will discuss later.
What Does Hummus Taste Like?
Depending on the ingredients used and the region where it is prepared, hummus can take on different flavors. Given that different places will have different interpretations of what hummus should taste like and the number of brands available in the market today, it’s hard to describe how hummus tastes like precisely.
However, hummus does not really retain the taste of chickpeas so much. In fact, many people who are repulsed by chickpeas on their own have come to love hummus.
Based on the basic ingredients of hummus, it has a rich, creamy, and tangy flavor. The tang is attributed to the lemon. Hummus is also known to have a freshness to it, especially the homemade kind. This is how plain hummus made without any other twists or additional ingredients will likely taste like.
It will taste different the more you add to the mix such as vegetables, spices, seasonings, or peppers. Each added ingredient will impart a unique flavor. Just make sure not to overdo any of it to lose the essence of hummus.
The Health Benefits of Hummus
There are multiple reasons why people love hummus. Some like it for its taste while others are impressed by its health benefits, which include the following:
It is packed with nutrients, plant-based protein, and good fat.
Hummus is an excellent choice for people on a vegan or vegetarian diet because it is a good source of plant-based protein, about 7.9 grams for each 100-gram serving. Protein is essential for the body’s immune function, optimal growth, and recovery.
Hummus also provides a good portion of your needed vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, folate, potassium, iron, B vitamins, and zinc, which can be hard to get from vegan or vegetarian diets.
Furthermore, hummus has naturally high levels of good fat from its olive oil and sesame seed content. One tablespoon contains 8 grams of unsaturated fats. It is also low in carbohydrates and contains some omega-3 fats.
It can help fight inflammation.
The main ingredients of hummus, namely sesame seeds, olive oil, and chickpeas, have been found to fight chronic inflammation associated with many serious health problems. Olive oil contains powerful antioxidants like oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
The consumption of legumes like chickpeas and sesame seeds have also been reported to reduce the amount of inflammatory markers in the blood.
It promotes good digestion and gut health.
Hummus is also a good source of dietary fiber, which can help keep your bowel movement regular. The fibers found in chickpeas also encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, which produces a type of fatty acid called butyrate that serves as nourishment for gut cells.
Every 100-gram or 3.5-ounce serving of hummus can provide up to 16% of the daily fiber recommendation for men and 24% for women. This fiber softens and adds bulk to the stool, so they become easier to pass.
It helps control blood sugar levels.
Hummus has a low glycemic index, which is a measure of food’s ability to raise blood sugar. This means that it is slow to digest and absorb, and so won’t cause too drastic changes in blood sugar levels.
It is also rich in resistant starch, antinutrients, and protein which help slow down carb digestion. This causes a slower, more stable release of sugars into the bloodstream.
It helps reduce your risk of heart disease.
Multiple studies have found that the regular consumption of olive oil and chickpeas, two primary ingredients of hummus, can significantly reduce bad cholesterol and increase the body’s heart-healthy fats. This lowers your chances of developing heart disease and reduces the risk factors associated with it.
It helps promote weight loss.
Being a good source of protein and fiber, hummus can help curb your appetite, reduce your calorie intake, and help you lose weight faster. It also boosts your metabolism. Therefore, people who consume hummus regularly are found to be able to maintain a healthy weight better, have lower BMI, are less likely to be obese, and have smaller waists.
It is excellent for people with allergies and intolerances.
Hummus is naturally nut-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free, which means it is safe for people who are lactose intolerant, allergic to nuts, dairy, or gluten, or suffer from celiac disease.
Hummus is a versatile and nutritious dish that is both easy to find and easy to make. I hope you are satisfied with my answer to your question, “what does hummus taste like?”.
However, I believe words cannot really accurately describe the taste of hummus, and one way to really find out is to buy or make some and give it a try! Your body may thank you later for its many health benefits anyway. Then, tell me what you think about it in the comments section below!