Hummus is a type of spread that originally comes from Lebanese cuisine, but has become very popular in our country, both because of its unique and unusual taste, and because of its very high nutritional value and healing properties.
Although the established opinion is that it is made from chickpeas, it is much more accurate to say that the main ingredients for making hummus in addition to chickpeas are: sesame paste (tahini or taan), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Other additions, primarily various spices (pepper, chili, basil, rosemary), vegetables or fresh or dried mushrooms can be used as desired and to your own taste.
Hummus can be used as a spread with pastries or bread, in sandwiches, instead of the usual unhealthy additions, as a side dish to fish or meat dishes, but also as an addition to various vegetable salads.
Why is hummus healthy?
Hummus is rich proteins (high content of very important amino acids – tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylalanine), omega 3 fatty acids, iron, copper, phosphorus, selenium, manganese and vitaminsprimarily vitamin B6 and folic acid.
Thanks above all to its basic ingredients, which in themselves are very rich in nutrients, hummus is indispensable on the table of both vegetarians and all those who take care of a healthy diet.
Chickpeas, as the main ingredient of this spread, belong to legumes. They are characterized by their richness in proteins and plant fibers, so they are of great importance for the good function of the digestive organs.
Their role in lowering bad cholesterol and elevated blood sugar.
Magnesium which chickpeas are very rich in it is important for the proper functioning of the heart and the regulation of blood pressure as well as for proper function and health of the muscles and bone-joint system.
This legume contains large amounts of vitamin K, potassium and calciumand it is particularly rich in iron, so that, even when cooked, it has twice the content of this element than the same amount of meat.
A lesser known but very important property of chickpeas is helping the liver and in general the whole body to eliminate toxinsprimarily sulfates, which are most often used as preservatives in the food industry.
Sesame paste or tahini is very rich good fats (polyunsaturated fatty acids), proteins and calcium. In the original Lebanese cuisine, it is considered a necessary ingredient for making a real original hummus spread.
The medicinal properties of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic are already well known in our region.
Olive oil is primarily rich in vitamin E and healthy fats which contribute regulation of cholesterol levels in the blood and proper functioning of the heart and blood vessels.
Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and acts as an antioxidant so with garlic it protects the body from harmful free radicals, strengthens the body’s defenses and thus protects against infections.
Recipes for hummus
Although nowadays you can try hummus either in restaurants of Libyan or some Middle Eastern cuisine, or simply buy it in health food stores or larger markets, we suggest that you try to make it yourself.
Necessary ingredients for basic recipe are:
– 200 g of boiled chickpeas
– 1 spoon of tahini
– 1 dl of cold-pressed olive oil
– 1 lemon
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 100 ml of water in which you cooked the chickpeas
It is best to first soak the raw chickpeas in cold water for the night, and then cook them in the morning for about 45-60 minutes, maybe a little longer so that they blend as well as possible later.
Then strain the chickpeas, and the water in which they were cooked should not be thrown away, it should be cooled to lukewarm, and later used to achieve the desired thickness of the spread.
You can buy tahini or taan in well-stocked stores or make it yourself by frying sesame seeds in a pan without fat and then grinding them in an electric blender.
Chop the cooked chickpeas, juice of one lemon and garlic in a blender, then add the lukewarm water in which you cooked the chickpeas and a little salt to taste and blend everything again until you get a completely smooth mass. You determine the thickness of the spread yourself, by adding more or less water to the blender. In a separate bowl, mix olive oil and sesame spread, then gently mix with the obtained chickpea paste. You can add pepper, parsley, sweet ground or chili pepper, dry or freshly chopped olives, and generally any spice or other ingredient according to your own taste and desire to the spread obtained in this way.
Hummus with chives and cayenne pepper
In addition to raw chickpeas, canned chickpeas are also a good substitute, as they do not require cooking and significantly shorten the preparation time of the hummus spread. This recipe requires:
– 1 can of chickpeas (240 gr)
– 50 ml of olive oil
– 50 ml of water
– 2 spoons of sesame seeds
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon of vegeta
– 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
– 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
– ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
First, add the vegeta to the water and boil it for a short time, then let it cool down. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them well with cold water, then put them in a blender and add water boiled with vegetables, lemon juice and garlic, then mix everything well until you get a smooth mass.
Fry the sesame briefly in a pan without adding fat and grind it in a blender, then mix it with olive oil, parsley and cayenne pepper. Mix in a separate bowl with the resulting chickpea paste and put in the refrigerator to cool. Serve as a spread on toasted bread and sprinkle with chopped chives.
You can eat the finished spread as any meal, as a main course or a side dish, best freshly prepared. You can keep it in the fridge for a maximum of 2-3 days, and if you don’t use it in that period, it’s best to throw it away and make a new and fresh spread.