Recipe Roundup: Protein-Packed Hummus Spreads
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are among the most widely produced and consumed legumes in the world. A staple in many different cuisines, they can be roasted and added to salads and curries, baked into hearty falafels, ground into gram flour, and, of course, blended into varieties of hummus.
In addition to their versatility, chickpeas also boast a number of health benefits. One half-cup serving has about eight grams of protein, seven grams of fibre, and almost half the daily requirement of the B vitamin folate. Numerous health professionals have suggested that regularly consuming chickpeas can stabilize blood sugar levels, aid in digestion, and help prevent heart disease and cancer. And as an added bonus, when combined with healthy fats and grains (think olive oil and pita bread), chickpeas become a nutrient-dense source of complete protein.
One of the easiest ways to achieve this combination is with hummus, a popularized Middle Eastern and Mediterranean spread. It’s traditionally made with a blend of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice and served with vegetables and flatbreads. And while store-bought varieties can be convenient, they also often contain low grade oils and preservatives, so if you’re looking to gain the full benefits of this plant-based protein, it’s best to make your own.
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
If you’ve never made your own hummus before, this is a great place to start. It’s fresh, easy, and comes together in less than 15 minutes. Try this recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- pinch of salt and freshly-cracked black pepper (to taste)
- 1/4 cup water, or more if needed
optional toppings: extra drizzle of olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, toasted pine nuts, chopped roasted red peppers, basil pesto
Add first seven ingredients (chickpeas thru salt/pepper) to a food processor, and blend until smooth. Add in the water and continue blending until the hummus reaches your desired consistency, adding additional water if needed.
Garnish with optional toppings and serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Spicy Green Hummus
Ready to take things up a notch? This dish adds some heat to the classic by mixing in fresh herbs, green onions, and chopped jalapenos. Try this recipe from Taste and See.
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup rough-chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup rough-chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and stem removed, chopped
- 3 green onions chopped, more for garnish
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons water (optional)
Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs or green onions
Add the tahini and lemon juice to food processor and process for about 1 minute. Use a plastic spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add olive oil, parsley, cilantro, jalapenos, onion, garlic and salt. Process for about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
Add the chickpeas and process until the hummus has a thick and smooth texture… normally 1 or 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl a few times while processing. If hummus is too thick, run the food processor while slowly adding 1 to 2 tablespoons water, until it reaches the desired consistency.
Transfer the hummus into a small serving bowl. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil on top and sprinkle with additional chopped herbs and green onions. Store hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.
Liven up your appetizer spread with this bright pink dish. Roasted beets not only add colour, but also offer an extra boost of vitamin C and fibre. Try this recipe from Jessica in the Kitchen.
- 1 medium roasted beet, chopped
- 2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
Blend the beets and chickpeas together in a food processor until slightly combined, about 15 seconds.
Add the rest of the ingredients in and blend until all the ingredients are incorporated and smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute or longer depending on your food processor. Taste and adjust any ingredients based on your taste.
Curried Sweet Potato Hummus
Baked or steamed sweet potato gives this variation an extra creamy texture, while the curry powder adds a savoury twist (Hint: butternut squash also works well as a substitute.). Try this recipe from Bon Appetit.
- 1 small sweet potato, scrubbed (about 4 ounces)
- 1 15½-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
- ⅓ cup tahini, well mixed
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated or smashed to a paste with flat side of knife on cutting board
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon (or more) kosher salt
- 10 cranks freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil
- Crushed roasted, salted cashews, crushed red pepper flakes, and olive oil (for serving)
Preheat oven to 425°. Prick potato all over with a fork and wrap tightly in foil. Place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast until the tines of a fork slide easily into the center of potato, 60–70 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, process chickpeas, tahini, lime juice, garlic, curry powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a food processor until smooth.
Halve potato lengthwise and scoop out ½ cup flesh (discard skin). Add to food processor and process until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. With the motor running, stream in coconut oil, then continue to process until hummus is very light and creamy, 1–2 minutes longer. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl. Top with cashews and red pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Cream Cheese Pumpkin Hummus
If you’re in the mood for something sweeter, this dish swaps out traditional hummus ingredients for pumpkin purée, cream cheese, almond butter, and maple syrup. Top it with a few pomegranate seeds for some added colour and crunch and enjoy! Try this recipe from The Almond Eater.
- 1 can (approx 15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- Optional: 1-2 tbsp caramel sauce
Place chickpeas into your food processor and pulse for 20 seconds or so, then the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the pomegranate seeds. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of your food processor as needed.
Transfer hummus to a bowl, add additional cream cheese and/or caramel sauce to taste. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and enjoy!