5 Insider’s Tips on How to Choose the Best Hummus Brand
Hummus, the creamy, satisfying superfood dip that originates from the Middle East, is a common staple among most plant-based eaters. If you’re not that into it, our bet is you know somebody who is. Your mom, your boyfriend, that cute girl in your spin class—they’re all eating it. Hummus has a healthy reputation, which is well deserved! The simple, traditional recipe includes only chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Not all hummus brands are alike, however. Choosing the best brand hummus can be challenging. If you don’t make your own (ain’t nobody got time for that) store-bought brands are your best bet. But with over 20 versions and brands to choose from, it can be daunting trying to figure out which hummus brands at Whole Foods and other stores are the best bang for your buck.
Keep these insider’s tips for finding the best, healthy hummus brands in mind when you’re shopping for your next batch of hummus!
1. DITCH THE ADDITIVESThere are a lot of hummus store brands out there that use additives and ingredients that don’t belong in hummus. Sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate and potassium sorbate are all preservatives used to increase the shelf life and enhance the flavor of your dips. They can cause stomach upset, headaches, asthma attacks, and even allergic reactions. Avoid any chemical ingredients you don’t recognize, and stick with only healthy hummus brands!
2. KNOW YOUR OILUnfortunately, soybean and vegetables oils are used in most brands. When reading the ingredient list, make sure you pick one that uses only extra virgin olive oil. Because of the way that extra virgin olive oil is processed, it retains more olive taste and has a lower level of oleic acid than other oil varieties. The amount of free oleic acid in olive oil indicates the extent to which fat has broken down into fatty acids. Other oil varieties also lack the important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that make extra-virgin olive oil so beneficial. The healthiest brand of hummus will use only the best extra virgin olive oil.
3. SKIP THE GLUTENEven though the ingredients in hummus do not contain gluten, not all brands (even organic hummus brands) are truly gluten-free. For those of us who manage food allergies, cross-contamination during production is a big concern. Look for the gluten-free certification logo when looking for hummus brands at Whole Foods and other stores, which signifies a rigorous allergen-control program consisting of supplier controls, ingredient segregation, production run scheduling, equipment cleaning and testing.
4. GO ORGANICOpting for organic is the only way to avoid consuming the harmful chemicals and pesticides found in commercially grown food. Organically grown ingredients also contain more nutrients—vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micronutrients—than commercially grown foods. They taste better, because nourished soil produces healthy, strong plants. Organic hummus brands will taste fresher, and are truly the healthiest option.