Hummus with chickpeas

(Picture courtesy of wikipedia commons.)

You probably have tried hummus, but may not know, it’s better made at home with your own fresh ingredients.  The health aspects of hummus are multiple and important.

Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are rich in fiber and protein. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid (chickpeas tend to be higher in folic acid than other beans), zinc, and magnesium.

Beans in general have been linked to various health benefits, such as lower bloodcholesterol. They may also help prevent cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, early lab tests show that three compounds in beans (saponins, protease inhibitors, and phytic acid) may help defend cells from the type of genetic damage that can lead to cancer.

Hummus also traditionally features tahini (sesame seed butter), which contributes some additional protein (3 grams per tablespoon) and fiber (0.7 gram per tablespoon) along with monounsaturated fat (3 grams per tablespoon). Chickpeas and tahini both contribute fair amounts of calcium and iron, as well.

An easy recipe, that you can add anything you like to, takes just a few minutes to make.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

 

Directions

  1. Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over the garbanzo bean mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.