Join us:

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



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

Kristen DeAngelis

Kristen DeAngelis

Kristen DeAngelis has received a degree in Dietetics and Exercise and Health Promotion, from Virginia Tech, and is a nutrition expert working to integrate health and wellness by combining fitness, nutrition, and emotional clarity and balance to others. For several years, Kristen has been working as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, and just recently received her yoga certification through Yoga Alliance. As an individual nutrition counselor and community outreach volunteer, working for Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Blacksburg Farmer’s Markets, Virginia Cooperative Extension programs, and many more outreach projects, she has addressed the importance of eating local, whole foods and supporting a colorful plant based diet. Her enthusiasm helps to inspire others to become excited about getting creative with food, treating each others bodies with respect, and keeping a mindful attitude towards leading a happy and healthy life.

More posts from Kristen DeAngelis