“What is in hummus?”
“What is hummus good for?”
“How long does hummus last?”
Over the years, as people have been discovering the versatility of and various uses for hummus, we at HOPE have received a lot of general questions about our favorite dip. We obviously love to “spread” (Ha!) information and knowledge that helps people understand how it can promote living a healthy and conscious lifestyle.
HUMMUS is a Middle Eastern dip/spread made primarily from garbanzo beans. When these beans are combined with olive oil, sesame seed paste (AKA tahini), lemon juice, garlic, and spices such as cumin, then blended up, the resulting dip is rich and savory — and oh so useful! Uses for hummus are generally divided into two primary techniques: dipping and spreading. As a dip, it is often paired with fresh vegetables crackers, pita bread, and chips (and more than one hummus lover has been known to do their dipping with just a spoon!). As a spread, it is used as a health-conscious mayonnaise alternative on sandwiches, and as a filling and nutritious boost in pita and tortilla wraps.
What is Hummus Good For?
Due to its ample calorie count and high NUTRITIONAL VALUE, this dip has become a choice addition to the American diet. As life is often busy and fast-paced, people on the go use it for healthy, easy meals and snacks. The modern marketplace offers all sorts of easy but unhealthy options, and humus is one of those foods that is fighting to make eating good food more convenient and sustainable. So what is hummus used for? Here are a few of its most popular uses:
A Power Food for Busy Workers – Having a hard time finding time to eat at work? Just pack some cut veggies and a tub of your favorite dip, and you have either a healthy and filling meal, or a day’s worth of quality snacks for those mid-morning or mid-afternoon slumps!
Healthy Eats for Growing Kids – As any parent can attest, preparing food for the curtain climbers is often costly and time-consuming! Additionally, so many of the “easy” options don’t give kids the right nutrients, and are packed with empty “filler” starches and sugars. When it comes to packing morning lunches, or providing afternoon snacks, this delicious dip makes for good eating with minimal prep.
Efficient Fuel for Athletes – Exercising bodies need plenty of nutritious calories to rise to the challenge of consistent exertion. With its excellent nutrient density and protein content for quality muscle fuel, it is a SOLID ADDITION to the well-stocked fridge.
Creative Choice for Party Eats – If you ever get tired of trotting out the same old potato chips, sour cream dips, and salsa or guac, humus makes for a refreshing change of pace. Especially as INNOVATIVE NEW FLAVORS have grown in popularity, it can fit in with an ever-increasing range of banquet table goodies.
Protein Boost for Vegans/Vegetarians – One of the most difficult aspects of veganism or vegetarianism is consuming enough protein to maintain crucial body function and energy levels. Any humus that contains both garbanzo beans and tahini provides the body with complete protein. And due to the ingredient list above, it is by nature vegetarian and vegan.
How Long Does Hummus Last?
With proper refrigeration, store bought tubs that are generally produced to last about two months if left unopened. Be sure to check the package for an expiration date. Once opened, a tub generally lasts up to 7 days in the fridge, with some brands advising on the label to “consume within 7 days.” As with any refrigerated food, it is best to keep it refrigerated whenever possible, to reduce the chance of spoilage.
Different companies use different preservatives to ensure a marketable shelf life. However, some preservatives have been proven to have possible adverse health effects, so in general you should check the ingredient label of your tub to be sure of what you are eating. Try to avoid “conventional” hummus with additives such as POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM BENZOATE, and POTASSIUM BENZOATE. Some organic brands opt for a preservative called CULTURED DEXTROSE, which is allowed for use in certified organic products. However, in order to remain as close to pure hummus as possible, some companies use CITRIC ACID as a preservative. Citric acid is a naturally-occurring substance present in citrus fruits, and it lowers food pH in order to inhibit bacterial growth.