Today, hummus is all the rage. If you walk into any grocery store, you’ll find at least two or three different brands of hummus for sale in the produce section. It’s also a very common appetizer or side dish sold at Mediterranean restaurants.
Lately, many of my readers have been asking, “Is hummus vegan?”
Hummus is 100% vegan-friendly and is almost always made using exclusively plant-based ingredients. Traditional hummus is made from ground chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and a few all-natural seasonings.
If you’re looking to add more flavor, nutrition, and protein to your vegan diet, then hummus is one of the best foods that you can eat.
The plant-based dip originated in Egyptian cuisine and has since spread around the world. Hummus is rich in plant protein, healthy fats, and essential minerals. So go ahead and eat as much as you can stomach!
In today’s post, I’ll break down all of the most commonly found ingredients in hummus and explain how it’s made. Then, I’ll answer a few recent questions I’ve gotten about hummus and explain why it’s such a healthy dish.
How Is Hummus Made?
The word “hummus” translates to “chickpea” in Arabic. As such, chickpeas (often called garbanzos) are the main ingredient in hummus.
Hummus is an incredibly simple, and easy-to-make dish. Everything in hummus is fresh and uncooked.
The base is made by grinding chickpeas, water, and olive oil together. Then, several seasonings and juices are added to give it a delicious, flavorful kick.
In olden times, hummus was hand-ground using a stone grinder. Today, anybody can make hummus using a small blender or food processor! The ingredients are cheap and the recipe takes less than five minutes to make from start to finish.
Here’s a simple vegan hummus recipe that anybody can follow:
Where Did Hummus Originate?
Although many people associate hummus with Greece, it actually originated in Egypt. This was because the ancient Greeks and Egyptians were long-term trade partners.
During their golden age, Greece and Egypt were considered some of the most advanced civilizations in the world. They shared technology, and perhaps more importantly, food.
Ingredients In Hummus
Above, I alluded to some of the key ingredients used to make hummus. Here’s a more complete breakdown of a traditional Egyptian/Greek hummus recipe.
Chickpeas & Water
The base of hummus is made using chickpeas and water. Before being ground, it’s a good idea to cook the chickpeas in water.
This softens the beans and breaks down some of the skin, making them easier to digest and mixdown.
Olive oil is responsible for creating the rich, creamy texture that high-quality hummus is known for. It also provides a barrier that helps preserve the hummus and keeps it from spoiling too quickly.
Minced garlic provides a slightly spicy kick and bright, acidic undertones that balance out the earthy flavors of the beans and olive oil.
Pine nuts are one of the most commonly added ingredients in hummus. Roasted pine nuts give the hummus extra texture and a slightly sweet taste that balances the bitterness from the garlic.
Tahini is a traditional Middle Eastern sauce that’s made using roasted sesame seeds. It has a strong umami flavor that’s slightly similar to soy sauce (although not as overpowering).
Lemon juice acts as a natural preservative and gives the hummus fresh, citrusy undertones.
Last (but certainly not least) paprika, sea salt, and cumin are typically added to give the hummus a complex, slightly spicy flavor.
Is Hummus Vegan Or Vegetarian?
Vegetarians have been eating hummus for hundreds of years, long before the existence of the vegan lifestyle.
For example, hummus and chickpea-based foods are incredibly popular in Indian cuisine, where 39% of the population identify as strict vegetarians.
Vegetarian diets are distinct from vegan diets, as most vegetarians consume animal-derived products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and honey.
They just don’t eat animal meat itself. Vegans, on the other hand, completely abstain from any animal-derived products.
That’s why it’s always important to distinguish vegetarian foods from vegan foods.
That being said, hummus is 100% vegan and is made using only plant-based ingredients.
Is Hummus Made With Dairy?
It’s easy to understand why many people would think that hummus is made with dairy. Its rich, creamy consistency definitely has some of the characteristics of other dairy-based sauces and dips.
However, hummus is 100% dairy-free. It doesn’t have any traces of cream, milk, yogurt, or other animal-derived products.
You can dip as much pita in hummus as you want, just watch out for its dairy-based counterpart! Hummus is often served alongside tzatziki as an appetizer. Tzatziki is not vegan as it’s made with yogurt, which contains dairy.
Is Sabra Original Hummus Vegan?
Sabra is one of the best-selling brands of hummus and is available at most grocery stores in the United States. Sabra’s Original Hummus is vegan along with all of its other varieties.
My favorite flavor is Sabra’s Supremely Spicy Hummus made with real chili peppers!
Vegans Should Eat More Hummus: Here’s Why
Not only is hummus delicious but it’s also incredibly nutritious! One of the biggest problems that first-time vegans face is trying to find good sources of plant-based protein.
Unfortunately, many of the popular sources of vegan protein (such as vegan “meat”) are expensive and may contain unhealthy additives.
Hummus is an excellent source of high-quality plant-based protein. Unlike other “trendy” vegan protein supplements, hummus and chickpeas are very affordable.
Here’s a quick visual outlining the key health benefits of consuming hummus:
|Hummus Health Benefits||Why It Matters|
|Rich in dietary fiber||Chickpeas contain high amounts of dietary fiber. In healthy individuals, this can improve digestion and help you stay “full” for longer. High-fiber diets can also reduce blood glucose levels in diabetics and reduce diabetic symptoms.|
|Contains high amounts of iron and calcium||Among other things, iron and calcium are two minerals that are essential for maintaining healthy bones. Consuming adequate amounts of iron and calcium can also prevent the onset of osteoporosis!|
|Contains high amounts of potassium||Potassium is an essential mineral that helps our bodies maintain healthy blood pressure. It also supports healthy muscular and nervous system functions.|
|Contains selenium||Selenium is a very important trace mineral that helps protect our DNA and cells from damage.|
What’s The Best Way To Eat Hummus?
Hummus is traditionally eaten as a dip. If you’re looking for a filling, carbohydrate-heavy dish, then you can dip warm, toasted pita bread in your hummus.
On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter snack, you can dip your favorite fruits and veggies in hummus.
My favorite veggies to dip in hummus are carrots and celery, but the only limit is your imagination!
Hummus is 100% vegan and is always made using fresh plant-based ingredients. Hummus isn’t just another fad either; it’s been around for hundreds of years and is enjoyed around the world.
It’s an excellent source of vegan protein, healthy fats, as well as vitamins and minerals. It’s also affordable and super simple to make at home!
If you love dipping vegetables in sauce, then you’ll love vegan ranch. Keep on reading to find out what vegan ranch is all about!