Chips and salsa have always been a favorite American snack; however, hummus has recently made its way to the top of the American snacking food chain. Hummus was first introduced in the American scene in the late 1960’s, but was uncommon in many American households because of its relegation to only healthy food stores. After several decades, and the addition of popular flavors, hummus has become a mainstream food item – in recent years more than 15 million Americans have admitted to consuming hummus on a regular basis. Most recipes using hummus are healthy substitutes for greasy foods, considering hummus contains no saturated fat or cholesterol, and each serving (1 tbsp) contains only 25 calories with only 2 grams of carbohydrates.
Although many Americans consume hummus daily, many individuals still aren’t quite sure of what hummus actually is, and this creates an intimidation factor. Hummus, and its unique variations, originated from the Middle Eastern countries including Palestine, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Israel. The main ingredients include cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Tahini hummus dip is a variety of hummus, as tahini is essential for recipes using hummus, and although it can be omitted, there is no real substitute quite like it. The most common recipes using hummus are served with fresh or toasted pita bread, but crackers are a suitable replacement for snacking as well. Multiple hummus recipes with unique additions provide healthy eating options. Here are a couple of easy hummus recipes to try at home:
1) Deviled eggs with hummus: Halve 8 hard boiled eggs and scoop the yolks out, mixing them into a bowl. Mash the yolks, a quarter cup of hummus, and quarter cup of olive oil before placing the mixture back into the halved eggs. Sprinkling sumac or paprika on top to complete.
2) Chicken, hummus and brown rice casserole: Cook brown rice and place it into a baking dish. Place a mixture of cooked chicken (cut into pieces) and diced vegetables (cucumbers/tomatoes/sauteed onions) on top of the brown rice. Coat a layer of hummus on the top of the mixture and lightly drizzle olive oil and soy sauce over it. Broil until the top is browned nicely.