Hummus: Your Healthy Holiday Survival Snack (+16 Ways to Eat It!)

By: Kristen DeAngelis



Hummus is a tasty and healthy option to serve at your next holiday party, or to have any day of the week as a nutritious snack, spread, or dressing for a side dish. Get maximum nutrition with this middle-eastern favorite for only 50 calories per serving (2 Tbsp.), 1.5 g protein, 1-2 g fiber, 1 g of healthy fats and a good source of important vitamins and minerals!  Test out personalized homemade versions and be on your way to a new favorite healthy holiday snack that doesn’t involve heavy cream or sugar!

Health benefits of hummus:

  • Rich in Healthy Fats: High in mono and polyunsaturated fats, hummus helps to lower blood cholesterol and provides protective cell, brain, and heart health functions.
  • High in Fiber: Fiber helps you feel full, aids in digestion, and can help regulate blood sugars allowing hummus to be beneficial for weight loss and serve as a diabetic-friendly snack: 1/3 cup provides 4 g fiber, helping you meet your 25 g per day recommendation.
  • Good source of Folate, Iron, Manganese and Zinc: Important for cell growth, development and oxygen transport.
  • Powerful Protein Source: One serving has 1.5 g protein from the chickpeas, with additional amino acids from the tahini paste to help reach your daily protein needs.
  • Low in Sodium and Calories: 1 serving has 73 mg. sodium, and roughly 50 calories.

How to eat more hummus:

  • Homemade: Make your own (original recipe provided below but get creative with additional spices and vegetables: roasted red peppers, jalapenos, spinach, kale, artichoke, roasted tomatoes, cumin, cayenne, or paprika) or try these hummus recipes:
    Rainbow Hummus
    Pumpkin Hummus
  • Commercially prepared: If choosing at the grocery store, review the label and choose options low in sodium, fat, and calories, which can vary between brands.
  • Think ‘Practical’: Scoop homemade hummus into small pre-portioned containers to take for on– the–go snacks.  Some commercial brands have even begun selling small packaged portions to make hummus a portable snack.
  • Portion Size: Standard servings are usually 2 Tbsp./30 mg. but it can be easy to over indulge.  Measure out servings to help to stay in moderation.

What to do with your hummus:

  • Snack Attack:
    – Spread on apple or pear slices, or juicy tomatoes with basil to garnish
    – Dip with raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and celery sticks

  • Appetizer/Side Dish:
    - Party Dip: Serve in a small dish centered around various raw cut vegetables or whole grain pita crisps
    - Finger Bites: Place 1 Tbsp. on pre-cut cucumber rounds topped with a sliced olive, tomato, or roasted red pepper

  • Sandwich Spread:
    Swap out mayo or creamy dressings for hummus paired for your next grilled Panini or whole-grain sandwich/wrap:
    - Classic Mediterranean: Hummus, tabbouleh, lettuce, tomato, onion
    - Grilled Vegetarian: Hummus, roasted red peppers, eggplant, zucchini/squash

  • Pasta Sauce:
    - Toss ¼ cup/60 mg. hummus into a sauce with vegetable broth, and 2 Tbsp./30 ml. red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp./30 ml. low-sodium soy sauce, 1 Tbsp./15 ml. sesame oil for an Asian flair over your choice of whole grain noodles or spaghetti squash.

  • Hummus Flatbread Pizza:
    - Swap the sodium loaded red sauce and frozen pizza dinners by brushing whole grain warmed pitas with hummus, chopped cucumber, tomato, kalamata olives, diced red onion, and baby arugula.

  • Hummus Rotini Pasta Salad:
    - Mix hummus with olive oil, rice wine vinegar, toasted almonds, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss over whole grain noodles or mixed vegetables (shredded cabbage, carrots, and broccoli slaw).

Here’s a Super Easy Hummus Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 15-ounce can (425 grams) chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup/60 ml. fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
1/4 cup/60 g. tahini
Large garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp./30 ml. olive oil, plus more for serving
Dash of sea salt, to taste
Dash of ground cumin (about 1/2 teaspoon/3.5 g)
2 – 3 Tbsp./30 ml. water
Dash of ground paprika, for serving

Directions:

1.) In your food processor or blender, blend tahini and lemon juice for 1 minute.

2.) Add olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and salt and blend for another minute.

3.) Add canned/soaked chickpeas and process until thick and smooth. (You may have to add additional 2-3 Tbsp. water until desired consistency.

Serves 8

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Kristen DeAngelis

Kristen is the executive assistant and certified nutritionist for Joe Cross and his team at Reboot with Joe. Her multi-disciplinary approach to health and wellness stresses a plant-based diet, engaging in regular movement, physical activity and yoga, and practicing mindfulness techniques. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Yoga Instructor, with a B.S. in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Virginia Tech and a 200-Hr Yoga (RYT), YogaFit, and American Council on Exercise certification. If she’s not smiling in the kitchen, Kristen loves practicing yoga, running or finding a fitness challenge, and visiting friends and family from her hometown near Boston, MA.

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