Is Hummus Still Hummus Without Chickpeas?

You probably have a container of hummus (or two) sitting in your fridge right now. Over the past few years, hummus in the US has grown from a favorite among health-food-hippies to a kitchen essential offered on menus across the country! Hummus is a simple blend of only a few ingredients. It’s given Americans what they’ve always craved. That is, a nutritious snack for endless flavors and styles to satisfy their hunger cravings at any time of the day. Whether you’re spreading it on a sandwich or diving right in with a pita chip, the key to great hummus is the creaminess and mild nuttiness of Soom Tahini!


The Rise of Hummus

What exactly is hummus? It’s simple: a blend of legumes, tahini, garlic, lemon, and water. Essentially, hummus is a customizable snack with wonderfully creamy, fluffy, well-rounded flavor. Thanks to brands like Sabra, Michael Solomonov’s Zahav cookbook, and the rise of veganism, we’re sure that the hummus trend is here to stay! Whether you are following our essential steps to making the best hummus or filling your cart with various store-bought hummus containers, this dip may have stolen your heart (and appetite).

It’s no wonder hummus had always carried that “hippie-health-food” association. The crowd-pleasing dip is not only delicious and versatile, but also chockfull of health benefits! Legumes are a natural source of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. This makes hummus healthier than your average dip!


Variations of Hummus

Thanks to hummus becoming a popular staple served at both restaurants and consumers’ homes, people keep finding new ways to “challenge” the hummus status-quo. The craze has expanded creative and innovative takes way beyond the traditional rich and creamy blend of chickpeas and sesame butter. Instead, they include bold and even unexpected flavors. Dessert hummus has given us a healthier fix to satiate our sweet tooth, Tribe Hummus has brought the everything bagel to a creamy chickpea snack, and Sabra has even given us a taco-inspired dip! 

At Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s Dizengoff, one of our favorite places to eat hummus in the U.S., hummus isn’t just a dip–it’s the meal! Hummus can take on seasonal flavors to make the most of delicious veggies while they’re in season or refuse to be defined by a chickpea entirely!


Can Hummus be Hummus Without Chickpeas?

How can a snack that literally means ‘chickpea’ in Arabic go without their Middle Eastern namesake legume? Thanks to the customization frenzy of the hummus-boom, many brands are offering unique non-chickpea hummus products!

But while hummus may no longer need chickpeas, it will always need a hefty-helping of tahini for texture and flavor.

If you’re watching your carb intake, but aren’t ready to say goodbye to your favorite dip, don’t fret! Now you can swap chickpeas for roasted cauliflower in an easy Creamy Cauliflower Hummus

Brands like Lantana Foods have completely abandoned the chickpea and offer an assortment of hummus flavors using an all-star line up of legumes, including yellow lentils, black beans, edamame, white beans and red lentils. But even the most innovative and unique non-chickpea hummus dips include tahini as a main ingredient. 


Hummus Can’t be Hummus Without Tahini

Great hummus can and does exist without chickpeas, but even good hummus can’t exist without tahini! Michael Solomonov reminds us in his Zahav cookbook that high-quality tahini has a huge impact on flavor and texture. Adding more of the creamy sesame butter brings smooth, fluffy hummus to life. And, it also adds full-bodied nutty undertones. Mmm, yes please!

The ingredients in hummus are so simple that what the quality of each ingredient really impacts the dip! Each ingredient truly needs to be at the top of its game to create the flavorful, ultra-smooth hummus that we all crave. As we know, not all tahini is created equal. Bitter and poor-quality tahini can ruin any variation of a hummus blend. Tahini is the key flavor-maker of excellent hummus. Solomonov’s delectable, smooth and fluffy hummus has earned Zahav a cult following of hummus-fanatics, thanks to using lavish amounts of — you guessed it — Soom Tahini. 

In addition, the plant-based health benefits of tahini support bone health, assist in immunity, generate energy, and improve skin and hair glow. So, maybe while hummus was getting the credit for being the health-food deity of the counterculture, it was tahini the hippies should have been praising all along! That’s just our thought process, anyway.

Hummus purists may insist that hummus really can’t be hummus without chickpeas, but we have watched non-chickpea hummus boom to places no hummus has gone before. The powers of tahini bring a variety of legumes, and even vegetables like carrots and cauliflower, to dips that make a great snack with crunchy veggies, crisp pita chips, or spreadable sandwiches.

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