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 flavor 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 Four Key Steps to Make the Best Hummus or filling your cart with a few flavors at the grocery store, hummus 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 packed with 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 implications way beyond the traditional rich and creamy blend of chickpeas and sesame paste to 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–its 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 paste brings smooth, fluffy hummus to life and adds full-bodied nutty undertones.
Hummus’ ingredients are so simple that what you put in it matters! Each one needs to be at the top of its game to bring the dreamy, ultra-smooth hummus that we all know and love. As we know, not all tahini is created equal. Bitter and poor-quality sesame paste 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 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 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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