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Hummus is one of the most popular foods in the entire world and it is consumed in a most countries in a whole variety of different ways. When you think about Hummus however, you probably think of plain boring old prepackaged supermarket or grocery store bought hummus.

These dips usually come in small packs and have a lot of other ingredients added during production. These ready-made dips are usually packed full of artificial chemicals, flavorings, and preservatives which are bad for you. Real hummus, homemade hummus, is nothing like the store bought hummus and can be eaten regularly for healthy results.

Home Made Hummus is Best

Homemade hummus is simple and quick to make and tastes by far, quite superior to store bought. The best thing about making hummus at home is that it is extremely healthy, filling and beneficial too.

If you’re a self-confessed hummus lover and can’t get enough of this fantastic health food, here’s a more in-depth look at where it comes from, why it’s so healthy, and how it can be used in your kitchen.

A brief history of hummus 

Hummus, which can also be spelt Hommous, gets its name from the Arabic word hummus, which literally translates as “chickpea”. As you can probably guess, hummus’ main ingredient is chickpeas. These chickpeas have been cooked and then mashed together into a thick paste. The paste is then combined with sesame seed paste, salt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and sometimes certain other spices such as paprika.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, and therefore hummus, have been around for so long, nobody is exactly sure where they were first prepared and eaten. That said, we do know that they’re of Middle Eastern descent, just not whereabouts in the Middle East is what’s up for debate.

Ancient Egyptians ate hummusHummus is an ancient food and has been prepared and eaten since ancient times. There is actually mention of it (with variations) in cookbooks dating back to the 13th century. The Middle East and the Greeks all ate hummus, but evidence suggests that it dates back further.

The experts are now saying it is specifically linked to Egyptian times. Hummus is currently a central component of many Middle Eastern cooking techniques. This is especially true in Turkish, Syrian, Lebanese, and Egyptian cuisines to name but a few.

A Middle Eastern Staple

Although it is still hugely popular in the Middle East, hummus is also now just as popular in the Western world too. There are many recipe variations and added ingredients. As the ingredients have been around for over 10,000 years, there are no clear records as to who can truly be given credit for creating hummus. This essentially means its exact origins currently remain a delicious and nutritious mystery.

Modern uses of Hummus 

Hummus these days is used in a variety of different dishes, in a number of different ways. Here’s a look at some of the more modern uses of hummus:

Dips

When you think of hummus, you think of dips, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. The consistency and taste of hummus make it ideal for dipping a whole variety of foods into, especially chips or flatbreads at a party.

For a far healthier option however, people often choose fresh raw vegetables such as carrots or celery sticks to dip into the hummus for a healthy snack.

Pizza Topping

You may not think about pizza being healthy but if you make your own whole meal dough, top it with a generous amount of hummus instead of tomato sauce, and finish with a selection of vegetables and a sprinkling of low fat cheese such as feta, you will have an incredibly delicious meal that is also very healthy.

Sandwich Fillings

Instead of using mayonnaise, salad cream, or other calorific sauces, many people choose to use hummus, with fantastic results. Using hummus on sandwiches is a great way to cut the calories that usually accompany sandwich condiments such as mayonnaise.

As a Vegetable Topping

Many people take a selection of vegetables for roasting, and drizzle them with a little hummus that has been thinned out with oil and water. The vegetables are roasted in this hummus coating and taste incredible. You can also put the vegetables in the hummus, such as roasted carrot.

Health Benefits of Hummus

As well as tasting great, being consumed in a number of different countries, and being used in a number of different ways, hummus is also extremely healthy. Some health and weigh loss benefits of hummus include:

  • It’s low in fat
  • It’s high in protein
  • It’s a great source of slow-release energy
  • It’s a great source of dietary fibre
  • It’s rich in healthy fats from the olive oil
  • It’s great for the immune system thanks to the garlic and the lemon juice
  • It’s also rich in minerals, vitamins, B vitamins especially, and amino acids