Healthy, Humble Hummus
Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas as they are often called, are the main ingredient of hummus. They are gluten-free, eco-friendly and affordable. In addition, they provide a powerful dose of protein, fiber and phytonutrients, including antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium and iron. They pack a nutritious punch!
Chickpea consumption can help to improve gut health, as well as protect against heart disease and diabetes. Hummus combines the benefits of chickpeas with other anti-inflammatory superfoods like extra virgin olive oil, tahini, garlic and lemon. It is a mainstay in Mediterranean, vegetarian and vegan diets.
These little nuggets have a low glycemic load and can help you to achieve a trim waistline. Chickpeas are a plant-based protein, and when combined with tahini in hummus, they form a complete protein. This means that hummus contains all nine essential amino acids that the body needs to get from diet.
Beyond its nutritional profile, I love hummus because it is easy to make and I usually have the ingredients on hand. I do prefer to serve this tasty treat with an assortment of vegetables instead of the traditional naan or crackers.
Hint: I purchase dry beans and cook them in my slow cooker with water and a little baking soda for 4 hours.
1 can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
1 t salt
½ t pepper
1 t cumin
¼ - ½ t cayenne pepper
2 – 3 garlic cloves
1/3 c tahini
Juice of 2 lemons
¼ c Italian parsley
Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add reserved bean liquid a little at a time to achieve desired consistency. Adjust seasoning.
Serve with assorted crudité, pita chips or naan bread.