No matter how you spell it, keep this creamy treat on hand for snacking and healthy recipe substitutions day and night.
The countries of the Middle East have their differences. Hummus is not one of them. The savory spread made from a base of chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil and garlic is a staple in Israeli, Syrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian and North African cuisines, and for good reason. You may know it as a heart-healthy; gluten-, dairy-, trans fat–, and cholesterol-free dip or spread. But it can be oh-so-much more. Here are tips for making your own, plus a few brands you can feel good about serving your family.
Traditional hummus is a combination of just a few basic ingredients. This recipe yields a nice base consistency, but there’s no such thing as exact proportions. If you prefer an earthier, nutty flavor and a thick consistency, add extra tahini. For a smoother, thinner spread, increase the olive oil and/or liquid from the chickpeas and process the mixture longer. Lemon juice, garlic, salt and spices are also a matter of personal preference.
- 1 cup well-cooked or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 whole or 1/3 cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup assorted, chopped olives
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (peanuts, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts)
- Puree the first five ingredients in a food processor or a medium bowl with an immersion blender to desired consistency.
- Season to taste.
- For a smoother texture, slowly add more chickpea liquid, olive oil or water.
With deep Greek roots, Athenos keeps things simple with traditional Mediterranean flavors: Black Olive, Roasted Garlic, Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke. Walking the straight line, Athenos is our pick for veggie cruditès and healthy sandwich and wrap spreads.
Tasting Note: “Yum! It tastes authentic and natural, with a punch of garlic.”
Made in Boulder from all-organic ingredients, Hope’s roster includes Spicy Avocado and Thai Coconut Curry. The original recipe includes all the standard ingredients, plus cumin, black pepper, and cayenne to give it an extra kick. Swap Hope’s Sweet Potato Hummus for cheese in homemade ravioli.
Tasting Note: “It’s thick and chunky, as if the garbanzo beans weren’t mixed as thoroughly, which I like. It’s heavy on the lemon and garlic.”
Tribe Organic Hummus
Each of its 15 flavors are made from all-natural ingredients, but its organic line goes a step further with only USDA-certified organic products in its Classic, Roasted Garlic and Sweet Roasted Red Pepper flavors. Mix any of Tribe’s flavors into mashed potatoes in place of the butter and sour cream.
Tasting Note: “This looks the most like the hummus I make at home, thick and dense, but the flavor is much tangier and it has a very smooth, almost silky mouth feel.”
If your favorite ingredient in traditional hummus is the tahini, you’ll like Sabra’s Tahini Hummus that ratchets up the nutty flavor. Other flavors include Asian Fusion Garden—with ginger and bell peppers—and Spinach and Artichoke Hummus. Use your favorite flavor in place of the mayonnaise in chicken or tuna salad or deviled eggs.
Tasting Note: “Very aromatic with strong earthy and nutty notes to the smell and flavor.”
Eat Well Enjoy Life Hummus
Remember what we said about all hummus being made from the same basic ingredients? We lied. EWEL makes hummus from other non-garbanzo beans, including Tuscan white beans, black beans, lentils and edamame, and swaps the tahini for Greek yogurt in its low-fat line. Combine the Wasabi Edamame Hummus with Greek yogurt and rice vinegar, and toss with sliced cabbage for a healthy coleslaw.
Tasting Note: “Garlic lover’s dream!”
Falafel King Hummus
If you’ve dined at any of Falafel King’s four restaurants in Denver and Boulder, you know its traditional hummus reigns supreme. Giving a nod to our New Mexican neighbors, the King created a Roasted Hatch Green Chili Hummus, which is only available at grocery stores. Also try Falafel King’s allorganic line, sold as Sababa Hummus.
Tasting Note: “Super creamy and smooth with a delicate flavor at the finish; not too bland, not too strong.”