Hummus is a condiment that is used as a dip but is can be also considered as a whole dish in itself. It is made from chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. It was only recently that hummus became popular in America due to its nutritional content. At its most basic form, hummus is very creamy and a bit tangy resembling that of many mayonnaise-based dips, only much healthier. A lot of people now use hummus as a dip instead of the traditional typical mayonnaise-based dips and ranch. To highlight the condiment’s popularity, it is worth noting that 20 years ago, sales of hummus averaged $5 million on an annual basis, today sales are averaging $725 million a year and are expected to rise.
- With declining tobacco sales and rising hummus consumption, a lot of Virginia farmers are shifting their crops from tobacco to chickpeas.
- Almost unknown 30 years ago, hummus today ranks alongside salsa and guacamole as the dips and condiments of choice.
- The USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council estimate that over 25 percent of American households have hummus inside their refrigerators.
- Hummus was wait to have been first made in Egypt about 800 years ago.
Hummus Buying Guide
Making hummus requires tahini, which is kind of hard to find fresh. On top of that, hummus takes quite a bit of time to make. Good thing though is there is a boom in the hummus market and there will probably be some hummus available for some last-minute cravings.
Of course, you should always try and avoid commercially produced hummus that has preservatives in them, you are choosing hummus over the other dips for its health benefits, right? What good is a healthy condiment if it contains a lot of preservatives.
There are also commercially produced hummus that does their best not to use preservatives and this is a good thing. The only thing that we have to say about this is while they may not use preservatives, it says nothing about how their raw materials are sourced in order to meet the massive demand for hummus.
Plus, it will take some time for hummus to travel from their factories across the country before reaching store shelves. Add to that the time it sits there on the shelf, this would mean that you’re not getting the freshest hummus that you can get.
So how to buy hummus? Always check with your local farmers’ markets and specialty stores. You can be sure that these are small-batch hummus and with all ingredients locally and sustainably produced. Not to mention that you will get the freshest hummus available outside of making it yourself.
Hummus Production & Farming in Texas
With the popularity of hummus, there are a lot of growers and small farms Texas that have started to grow chickpeas. In turn, their crops are mostly contracted by specialty hummus producers around the state or they themselves use it to create hummus for sale in farmers’ markets.
Local variants of hummus include hummus with red pepper flakes, Cilantro and Jalapeno hummus, guacamole hummus, roasted pepper hummus, and a slew of other hummus varieties that use local flavors.
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:
The three most used preservatives on commercial hummus are potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and potassium benzoate. These are added to ensure that the hummus survives as long as possible on the store shelves.
For “organic” hummus, a preservative like cultured dextrose is used to keep it fresh and to inhibit mold and bacteria growth on the product.
These preservatives are the reasons why we advocate for supporting your local hummus makers. Not only are they super fresh, but they don’t have additives as well.
Hummus is usually packed in small plastic tubs with a steal around the top to prevent the accidental opening of the package.
Since hummus is slowly becoming America’s dip or condiment of choice, it’s only fitting that we go through all of the ways that you can enjoy hummus.
- Hummus can be used as a spread. Spread on your favorite crusty bread and you’ll have a meal on its own.
- Instead of mayo or mustard, use hummus to add to your sandwiches to give it that rich and decadent texture.
- Instead of using tortilla chips to dip into hummus, you can try using pita bread and other flatbreads, they all taste great with hummus.
- Hummus can replace sour cream when making mashed potatoes. Simply replace the cream in your mashed potato recipe to hummus and you’ll have a really tasty mashed potato with far fewer calories.
- Add them to deviled eggs to get a unique twist on this time-honored snack. Replace mayonnaise with hummus.
- Hummus can also be used to make salad dressing. Just chuck some hummus with olive oil, lemon juice, and some spices in the blender to make a hummus-based salad dressing that’s both wholesome and tasty.
Once opened, hummus must be consumed within three to four days before going bad. Always store hummus inside the refrigerator.
How to make your own hummus:
Now, this isn’t the traditional way to make hummus (which takes a lot of time if you include the soaking part), but in a pinch, it works.
250 grams cooked chickpeas
juice from one lemon
1 minced garlic clove
30ml extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2-3 tablespoons cold water
salt to taste
In a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice and process for about a minute and a half. This will give hummus that smoother and creamier consistency.
Add the olive oil, garlic, cumin, and salt and continue to process for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the food processor and process for another 30 seconds.
Add half the chickpeas and process for 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the processor and add the rest of the chickpeas. Continue to process for another 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and smooth. If the hummus is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time until the right consistency is reached.
Plate and drizzle olive oil, serve and enjoy!