Hummus, a very popular dish throughout the Middle East, including Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Syria, Armenia, and Cyprus, is a cream of boiled chickpeas puree with attachments: ground sesame seed paste, (Tahina) lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and condiments, for example, cumin and paprika. It is a nutritious, low-fat meal that contains no cholesterol or sugars, and is very rich in protein and fiber. It is eaten accompanied by a flatbread, as is the case with pita bread.
The very name ‘hummus’ in Arabic means chickpeas. It can be both an appetizer and a sauce or side dish, in any case, it is delicious. Its full name is actually hummus b’tahini, or chickpeas with tahini, but we are not used to calling anyone by name and surname. Tahini is in fact a white sesame cream and is the second main ingredient in hummus!
What Is Hummus?
Hummus, which we eat with appetite, which we consume mostly with bread or cereals as an appetizer or snack, is a food prepared simply with cooked chickpea puree, tahini, olive oil, lemon, salt and garlic. Hummus, which has been known for centuries and is identified with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, is also widely consumed in Europe and North America today.
It is a very good alternative for sauces with low nutritional value and high calorie such as hummus, mayonnaise or ranch sauce, which are usually consumed by rubbing them in bread or cereals, dipping vegetables such as carrots or cucumbers or rubbing them into sandwiches/wraps. It is a food that can be easily shared and consumed, both for crowded parties. Do not say hummus, we are talking about a food that is as healthy as it is delicious; Chickpeas, the basic ingredient of hummus, which is vegan, are one of the legumes richest in protein. It is also very rich in saturated fat and fiber.
The word “Hummus” comes from Arabic and means chickpeas, a legume that was first cultivated in the Middle East 10,000 years ago.
The full name is actually ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna, which means “chickpeas with tahini” which is a paste made from darkened sesame. The name itself also seems to suggest that hummus originated in an Arab country, the most similar recipe had been written in Cairo in the 13th century which was made not only with chickpeas, with vinegar and lemon, spices and oil, but without tahini or garlic. Ironically, the first recipe with tahini is from Egyptian cuisine.
There are still those who claim that it is a Jewish food, mentioned in the Bible at least 3500 years ago, but even Greece claims it by saying that hummus is the staple food of their cuisine. What is certain is that commercial traffic has allowed the circulation of goods between Greeks, Turks and other Middle Eastern peoples.
Origin And History Of Hummus
It is a traditional dish in countries such as Lebanon, Palestine, Greece, Syria or Turkey, each of which claims to be its true cradle. What should be clear is that he is not Greek. It is very difficult to find out the real origin of an ancient recipe that, in addition, has numerous variants, but if we stick to the written sources, it seems that the first mention appears in an Egyptian recipe book of the thirteenth century.
The ingredients of the recipe are millenary. Chickpeas are considered one of the first legumes cultivated and consumed by humans, the records of sesame or tahina paste are also ancient, beyond its appearance written for the first time in the thirteenth century in the Arab recipe books … Faced with such common elements, it is almost impossible to establish an accurate origin of hummus.
It is a recipe whose origin sinks into the cultural heritage of the different populations that attribute its creation and that very possibly precedes all of them. The Hebrews use biblical references in their origin stating that it is already cited among their texts, although it is logical to think that it had little or nothing to do with the current preparation that we know. In Syria many consider Damascus as the cradle of creation and relate it to Turkish influence, in Lebanon they claim the honor for Beirut and its important culinary tradition…
Perhaps it is best to call hummus an appetizer of Levantine origin. Because this definition covers Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria, as well as the Turkish cities of Antakya, Adana, and Gaziantep. Depending on where you are, it attracts attention with its preparation in different ways. For example, in Egypt it is more cuminy, in Jordan and Palestine it is prepared using yogurt instead of tahini, and in Turkey, it can appear as olive oil instead of butter. In different regions, there are those who serve hummus with bacon or grilled eggplant and add mushrooms or pine nuts to it.
Battle Of Hummus
It might seem like a trivial matter, but discovering its origins could be important for culinary identity. And for many people, where humus arises is an important question of identity and patriotism.
The already legendary “Hummus Wars” began in 2008 when Lebanon accused Israel of claiming what belonged to them.
The president of the Lebanese Industrialists’ Association, who was disturbed by the fact that hummus was known as Israeli food in the West, sued Israel for violating food copyright laws. The Lebanese government appealed to the EU to recognize hummus as Lebanese food. But these attempts did not yield results.
In response, Lebanon’s tourism minister, Fadi Abboud, wanted to solve this problem by preparing the world’s largest hummus plate in 2009 and going to the Guinness Book of Records.
The goal was achieved with a plate of hummus weighing 2000 kg. But Abu Ghosh, the famous hummus player of Arab origin in Israel, set a new record by filling a satellite dish with a diameter of 6.5 meters with 4000 kg of humus. Lebanon has prepared 10,452 kg of hummus, equivalent to its surface area, and has held the record since 2010.
Since 2012 it has been used as a means of sharing peace in the Middle East with hummus day, an event designed both to spread Middle Eastern culture and to unite the peoples who, religion aside, share a large part of their culture.
While it is true that each community, each people and, each country has its special cuisine, based on its culinary tradition, that is, the foods that people eat and identify as their own and typical, it is also true that today with the increasing flow of ethnic groups, which travel around the world, settling down either as expectant tourists, the cuisine here or there does not recognize borders.
And in case we had not noticed, through it, not only smells and flavors come together, but also, people and their cultures.
Why Is Hummus Great?
Hummus is for everyone. This gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free spread wheat, wheat, apple, salted crackers, carrots, celery, peppers, pita and pita chips pair perfectly. Humus also pairs well with falafel, grilled chicken and eggplant.
Hummus food can inspire creativity. Although hummus tastes excellent on its own, it is even tastier with chopped tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers, boiled eggs, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, paprika, olives or pine nuts.
Is Hummus Healthy?
Hummus is a very healthy appetizer. Being a vegan appetizer, hummus is a food extremely rich in protein, saturated fat and fiber.
Even pureed, chickpeas are still interesting plants for the preservation of our cardiovascular health. Firstly because they are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium.
The impact of these nutrients on the regulation of blood pressure has been known since the 1990s. This goes even further because two meta-analyses have established that regular consumption of legumes for three weeks reduces blood concentrations of total cholesterol and more specifically that of LDL, known as “bad cholesterol”.
Even in type 2 diabetics blood pressure and lipid constants (cholesterol and triglycerides) are also found…
Properties of hummus
The properties and benefits of hummus are logically linked to the ingredients that make up the recipe. As legumes, chickpeas provide a large amount of vegetable protein and carbohydrates, have a high content of fiber and folic acid, are rich in vitamins of various types (A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, E and K) and minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium or phosphorus.
Tahina has high contents of vitamins B6 and B12, essential fatty acids omega 6 and omega 9, minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc or phosphorus…. It also contains proteins of vegetable origin as it is made from sesame seeds. It is rich in methionine that legumes lack, so it perfectly complements the chickpeas of the preparation.
Lemon is one of the most beneficial fruits by the body, providing vitamin C and P, potassium, flavonoids or citric acid and helping the body to purify toxins. Of olive oil, is it necessary to tell anything? It is one of the great treasures of our gastronomy, rich in oleic acid and with important antioxidant properties.
Taking into account all this, we can say that hummus has numerous benefits for our body. First of all, it provides a lot of energy thanks to the carbohydrate content, including starch. It is an ideal food to control cholesterol and by extension the health of our cardiovascular system by taking advantage of its power to reduce LDL cholesterol in our body and triglycerides, the low amount of saturated fats it has and the vasodilator effect of its nutrients when it comes to regulating blood pressure.
The high fiber content directly influences the health of our gastrointestinal system, preventing constipation. Of course, be careful because not all people are equally tolerant of legumes. If this type of food causes you problems you should take hummus in moderation to check the effect on your body. It is also ideal for regulating blood glucose, lipid and insulin levels, so it can be a recommended recipe for people with diabetes, and is a satiating food which could help in weight loss diets by maintaining the feeling of being satiated with less amount and for longer.
The vitamins and minerals it possesses are also good for maintaining the health of our bone structure, ensuring bone strength, which is especially attractive in older people. Tryptophan, an amino acid capable of generating serotonin known as the hormone of happiness for its antidepressant effects, allows us to fight against episodes of stress or anxiety in addition to safeguarding the health of muscles and tissues. Also in pregnant and nursing mothers its richness in folic acid can be beneficial for both the fetus and the mother.
Is Hummus Gluten Free?
Hummus, traditionally made, is gluten-free. But there are variations that may not be 100% gluten-free, so you need to do your research before buying in store.
Make sure you have a gluten-free label on it.
If you don’t want to take any risks, you can do it at home.
According to popular belief, homemade hummus is much tastier than the store-bought version, because the ingredients are fresh, and you can measure the quantities according to your preference.
If you are allergic to gluten, you should eat gluten-free bread or hummus with crackers. You can also use it as a dip sauce for baby carrots and grilled vegetables.
Hummus Recipe Tricks
- You should peel the hummus so that it is smoother and has a more beautiful consistency.
- With the food processor, you must first pull the chickpeas, then add the other ingredients.
- If you are going to boil your chickpeas yourself, soak them at least 4-5 hours in advance.
- If you want the chickpeas to be easy to digest and cook more beautifully, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water you have soaked.
- After pulling all the ingredients of your hummus in the food processor, pull it again by adding a cube of ice. Thanks to this, humus will be brighter and smoother.
Different Easy Hummus Recipes
If you want to try hummus differently, here are a few more recipes for you:
- Hummus Sandwich
Hummus is an appetizer that is generally consumed with bread. You can prepare a healthy sandwich by rubbing hummus between the sandwiches and adding a few slices of cucumber, parsley and dill.
- Hummus on Fried Bread
Hummus applied on warm bread is very delicious to crispy. You can consume humus in this way. You can use stale bread when topping bread. We recommend you to take a look at our content titled How to Evaluate Stale Breads.
- Chips Sauce Hummus
You can consume hummus as a chips sauce, as a vegetable sauce (soaking in carrots and cucumbers) or as a pickle sauce. If you consume ranch sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise next to frying, hummus will be a much healthier sauce.
- Beetroot Hummus
You can get beet hummus by adding beet puree and one ice to the hummus in the recipe.
- Avocado Hummus
You can make hummus with avocado by adding lemon avocado puree and ice to the hummus in the recipe.
How to serve hummus
Hummus is easily the healthiest alternative to barn and mayonnaise. While most people enjoy it with pita bread and crackers, there are many other ways to serve it and get the most out of it.
Here are some of my favorite ways to serve hummus:
- Rubbing over a slice of sourdough bread.
- As a condiment in your favorite chicken sandwich. Instead of adding mayonnaise or mustard, you can add hummus to really enhance the taste.
- Instead of using sour cream in your mashed potato recipe, you can get a rich and creamy texture by adding hummus.
- As a healthy salad dressing.
- In immersion with falafel.
- Spoon. Instead of digging up a jar of Nutella in the dark hours of the night, you should try eating hummus to fulfill you late at night. It is a healthy option and it is delicious.