Tapas – What Is It and Why Do People Love It

Tapas – What Is It and Why Do People Love It

Tapas are popular snacks that originated in Spain. They have assorted key ingredients that vary from being an appetiser to a full-course meal, normally served in small amounts or on enormous plates. Tapas are either free or ordered in a bar. The varieties are endless, and it’s one of the major reasons people all over the world love it. They are essentially a lifestyle, and every bar defines itself with the diverse tapas served.

In Spain, you won’t normally find the word “tapas” in a bar’s menu. You may, however, find the word “raciones” – which means “rations” or large servings – or “media raciones“, servings in half a plate.

Tapas - For The Love of Hummus

The Limitless Variations

Tapas can be anything – from tuna chunks to fried baby squid (chopitos), chorizo sausages and many others. In many local bars and restaurants around Spain, tapas contain strong spices and herbs. Seafood-based tapas are often served as well, sometimes with either heap of olive oil in them, or with green and red bell peppers, or in a tomato puree or sauce. 

These delicious snacks are also called pinchos in the northern areas of Spain. “Pinchos” derives from the toothpick (called “pincho” in Spanish) that holds all the ingredients together on top of a lightly toasted slice of bread. The toothpicks also help keep track of the number of tapas consumed per customer.

Some common Spanish tapas are as follows:

Varieties around the world include:

  • Philippines – Known locally as pica-pica (finger food) or pulutan (meaning “to pick up”) in Tagalog
  • Argentina and Uruguay – Picada, servings of cold dishes such as olives, ham, cheese, bologna, etc.
  • Brazil – Tira-gostos, side dishes with more rare and traditional varieties, that accompany beer and other alcoholic drinks
  • Italy – Cicchetti, normally eaten for lunch or in the late afternoon as a snack
  • Korea – Anju, a Korean term for food served with alcohol

Tapas are conveniently easy to make

There is a diverse range of recipes, ingredients and cooking techniques across multiple countries around the world. You can even make your very own healthy version paired with one of our delicious hummus recipes on our website. Vamos a cocinar! Cheers!

 

Tapas - For The Love of Hummus
White Beans as a Chickpea Alternative

White Beans as a Chickpea Alternative

Everyone loves hummus. It’s great as a dip or as a standalone dish by itself. However, there are some of us who are allergic to chickpeas – a major component of hummus. Does that mean you give up on this Levantine dish? Not really, because you can substitute white beans as a chickpea alternative! There are plenty of varieties of white beans and each one has it’s own health benefits. 

While chickpea is the ideal ingredient when making hummus, you can always pick other varieties of white beans as a substitute. You may use equal amounts like you would do with chickpeas and you’d still get a delicious tasting hummus.

White Beans - For the Love of Hummus

Which Type Should You Pick?

When you shop for this type of bean, you will notice that there are more than one type – as a matter of fact, there are four kinds! These are the types of white beans and how to distinguish one from the other.


Navy Beans/ Pea Beans
– these are small, oval-shaped beans that have the most fiber out of all the variants, with 19 grams per cup to be exact

Great Northern Beans – these are medium-sized beans popular for its firm flesh and nutty flavor

Cannellini Beans – also known as white kidney beans due to its shape, it is the largest of the bunch

Baby Lima Beans – these are known as small creamy beans with a buttery texture, thus the moniker “butterbeans”

The truth is, however, that you can use them interchangeably, so depending on your taste, you can choose one of them as a substitute for chickpeas.

Benefits of White Beans

White beans are bursting with fibre, and if you eat them, your bowels will thank you. You can check out our guide below which will help you choose the right bean for your next dip. With flavors ranging from nutty to meaty, white beans are useful in so many dishes, not just dips.

Just because you make your dip with other beans doesn’t mean its any less nutritious! Some of the health benefits of white beans include the following:

– They are high in plant-based protein, which is essential for muscle building

– It is great for bone development because of its high calcium content

– It promotes regular bowel because it is a natural source of fiber

– White beans can help regulate sugar levels while boosting energy

– It also has a decent amount of vitamin C, potassium, and folate

So you see, there are plenty of ways to enjoy hummus. Not a fan of chickpeas? Then white beans are your best bet.

4 Types of White Beans Infographic - For the Love of Hummus
Roasted Carrot Hummus Recipe

Roasted Carrot Hummus Recipe

The Roasted Carrot Hummus recipe is going to change your perception of hummus forever. When we talk about hummus, often times people just assume you can only eat it plain. This is so far from the truth and the basic hummus recipe can be varied in so many ways its not funny.

Hummus is easy to make, and everybody loves it. Adding roasted carrot to your hummus can give it an unusual kick not to mention a bright, orange colour. Add Roasted Carrot Hummus immediately to your must try list of hummus recipes.

Behold the roasted carrot hummus recipe.

roasted carrot hummus

 

Ingredients:

400 grams of carrots
½ x 400 grams tin of chickpeas
1 clove of garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
juice of ½ a lemon
a pinch of salt
a pinch of freshly ground black pepper

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° C
  2. Cut the carrots into bite size pieces at any shape. Place them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
  4. Fine chop the garlic.
  5. Add all the ingredients into the food processor.
  6. Pulse to mix the ingredients well.
  7. Add salt and pepper when needed.

Your roasted carrot recipe is now good to serve. Its perfect as a dip, sandwich spread and even goes well on your favorite salad as a dressing. Enjoy your hummus!

Roasted-Carrot-Hummus recipe

Lemon Ginger Hummus Recipe

Lemon Ginger Hummus Recipe

With so many hummus variations the Lemon Ginger Hummus Recipe is a good one try. If you are looking for a unique and healthy dip, this lemon ginger hummus recipe has many health benefits. A little on the unusual side, this dip has a zing you won’t soon forget.

What about Hummus

Hummus tends to be high in salt and fat but doing a lighter version can also be enhanced in many ways – a dip for veggies, on sandwich, on pizza and a great addition to a cooked pasta dish. Hummus basically makes everything more delicious. So let’s get started with this unique hummus recipe!

lemon ginger hummus recipe

 

Ingredients:

1 19-oz can chickpeas (reserve liquid)
1/4 cup liquid from the can
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 medium clove garlic
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

Method:

  1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
  2. Put chickpeas along with all the ingredients in the food processor.
  3. Pulse until smooth.
  4. Transfer it to a bowl.

Super easy and quick to prepare right? Be sure to serve your lemon ginger hummus with veggies, pita wedges or crackers.

Lemon-Ginger-Hummus recipe

Avocado Hummus Recipe

Avocado Hummus Recipe

An Avocado Hummus Recipe is a great way to add some more healthy ingredients to your basic hummus recipes. The addition of avocado brings a creaminess to the mixture and packs a protein punch. So with this in mind, give your basic hummus a twist with some Avocado.

Fruity hummus dips are the best! Avocado itself is delicious and combining it with hummus can result into a nutritious and sweet dip for your snack time.

How to make Avocado Hummus

Forget smashed avo’s, here’s what you need to make this Avocado Hummus.

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas (can be used as topping)
1 avocado (peeled and pitted)
5 tablespoons tahini
1 lemon (juiced, more to taste)
3/4 cups water
4 cloves garlic
salt and pepper (to taste)
Olive oil

Method:

  1. Drain chickpeas (set aside few for topping) and place them to the food processor along with the avocado.
  2. Add tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, water and garlic cloves. You can add more or less of the garlic cloves depending on your liking.
  3. Pulse until the texture becomes smooth, add more water to achieve the consistency you prefer.
  4. Top your hummus with the chickpeas.

Avocado hummus is best served with pita wedges, chopped veggies, crackers and breadsticks. Enjoy your newly discovered dip!

Avocado-Hummus recipe

Strawberry Hummus Recipe

Strawberry Hummus Recipe

Some people grimace when I tell them about my Strawberry Hummus Recipe. But seriously it’s one of those things that you don’t realize is amazing, until you put it in your mouth. Strawberry hummus is a hit with kids because of its sweet and fruity taste not to mention its striking red colour.

So if you are planning for your kid’s party adding this dip can make the snack time more flavourful. It’s also a good way to add some extra goodness to your children’s diet without them realising it.

Not only for Kids

On the other hand, grown-ups will also love this dip because of its healthy dose of vitamins. This brings new twist to their usual snack dip and the taste really does give your tastebuds a vacation from boring old dips. This variation on the regular hummus dip will get you attention.

strawberry hummus with crackers

 

Ingredients:

2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
1 can (14.5 oz.) garbanzo beans or chickpeas as they are also called
1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

 

 

strawberry hummus dip recipe