I had a dream last night where I was planning our dinner for the night. First off, it was sad that I was dreaming about planning dinner. Secondly, in my dream, my child was small again and to my surprise was asking for hummus. What is hummus? It spurred me to do a little research on the subject and it all started with a simple definition.
After "Googling" the word hummus (also spelled houmous, hommus, or humus), I have found that hummus is one of the most popular foods to emerge from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions of the world. It is an exotic blend of pureed chickpeas mixed with lemon, sesame tahini, olive oil and spices with added flavors such as roasted garlic, roasted red peppers, paprika, scallion and sometimes even dill. It is used as a dip with Pita bread, crackers or with fresh cut vegetables. It is a staple of the Middle Eastern diet but has gained much popularity with westerners now that we are becoming more conscious about what foods we eat and are moving more toward foods served in the Mediterranean region. Hummus contains no saturated fat, no cholesterol or sugar and is high in protein and fiber.
Unlike many foods which are proported at "good for you", hummus actually tastes good. It is a perfect food for anyone who is concerned about eating well and who is on a low cholesterol, low fat diet and doesn't want to sacrifice flavor. Hummus is a healthy alternative to those dairy based dips and spreads like your traditional onion soup dip.
It is also much better for you than any of the dips or spreads made with a lot of melted cheese. You can also use it to spread on a sandwich for a healthy and really tasty alternative to mayonnaise. Being frugal, I was also astounded at how cheap this versatile dip can be! You can make your own hummus by soaking dried chickpeas overnight and then simmering them for about an hour. After they are cooked, you grind them in a food processor or hand mixer with a little olive oil and lemon juice. You may also add some of the chickpea broth until you have the desired "dip-like" consistency. Add garlic, salt, parsley, onion, cumin, or chili powder to taste.
You can use hummus as a dip for vegetables, tortilla chips or flatbread making this an incredibly versatile staple! Hummus is also extremely rich in protein, fiber and iron which makes it a true vegetarian's dream. Make a spicy hummus by adding chopped jalapenos and serve with chopped taco shells. Create an Italian hummus by adding fresh basil and chopped tomatoes.
Stuff pita shells with hummus, add a little lettuce and create a tasty alternative to the normal peanut butter and jelly. The possibilities are endless! I need to have more dreams like this one. We may be having hummus for dinner tonight after all.
Della Franklin is a business owner, successful IT Systems Manager & Internet Marketer. She counts 10 years experience as a teacher as well as being a Certified Network Engineer, cook, wife & mother. See more about her at http://www.foodielooksatfood.com or http://www.dogwoodsquare.com