Hummus, in varying presentations, is consumed almost daily in my house. We LOVE IT. So I decided to make the best hummus ever made. And I think I might have done it. Honestly, this smoked hummus is incredibly tasty! You need to give it a try.
Anyway, I really hope you A) you give this smoked hummus a go and B) you love it as much as I did.
Hummus has been a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries, but in recent years, it has gained popularity worldwide as a healthy and delicious snack or meal. One variation of hummus that has been gaining traction in the vegan food community (or maybe just my house, I don’t know) is smoked hummus. It’s probably better described as a ‘smokey flavoured hummus’, as it hasn’t strictly been ‘smoked’. But anyway, I gave it a go, and it’s absolutely delicious.
Cultural Significance of Hummus
Hummus has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine for centuries, and its popularity has only continued to grow in recent years. Here’s a look at the cultural significance of hummus and some tips for incorporating it into your meals:
Origins: While the exact origins of hummus are not known, it is believed to have originated in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions. Hummus is made from cooked chickpeas (usually) blended with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil, and it has been a dietary staple in these regions for thousands of years.
Cultural Significance: Hummus has deep cultural significance in the Mediterranean region, where it is often served as a starter or appetiser. In some cultures, it is even believed to have healing properties and is used to treat various ailments. Today, hummus is enjoyed around the world and has become a popular plant-based protein source for vegetarians and vegans.
Hummus and Your Health
Hummus is often touted as a healthy food, and for good reason, it’s full of lots of good stuff!
Firstly, hummus is made from chickpeas, which are really high in protein and fibre. Additionally, the ingredients in hummus, such as garlic and olive oil, have been linked to a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and improved digestion.
However, it’s important to note that hummus can also be high in calories, especially if consumed in large quantities. A typical serving of hummus contains around 70-100 calories, but it’s easy to overindulge and consume much more than that. This can lead to excessive calorie intake and potential weight gain.
Additionally, some people may experience digestive issues if they consume too much hummus, particularly if they have a sensitivity to legumes.
My Smoked Hummus Recipe
Before we get to the detail of the smoked hummus recipe, I wanted to go into a little more detail about each ingredient and what it brings to the dish!
Canned Chickpeas: Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a great source of plant-based protein and dietary fibre. In hummus, they provide a creamy and nutty base that is perfect for dipping or spreading. They also have a mild flavour that allows the other ingredients to shine.
Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a bright and tangy flavour to the hummus. It also helps to balance out the richness of the olive oil and tahini. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that supports the immune system and helps to protect against cellular damage.
Garlic: Garlic has a pungent flavour that adds depth and complexity to the hummus. It also has antimicrobial properties that may help to support immune function and protect against infection.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil adds richness and body to the hummus. It also provides healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to lower levels of inflammation and improved heart health.
Smoked Paprika: Smoked paprika is a type of ground chilli pepper that has been smoked and dried. It adds a smoky and slightly sweet flavour to the hummus. Paprika is also high in antioxidants and may help to improve digestion.
Tahini: Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It adds a nutty and slightly bitter flavour to the hummus. Tahini is also high in healthy fats, protein, and minerals like iron and magnesium.
Liquid Smoke: The secret weapon to this smoked hummus! Liquid smoke is a flavouring that is made by capturing the smoke from burning wood and condensing it into a liquid form. It adds a smoky and savoury flavour to this smoked hummus without the need for actual smoking. While liquid smoke is not a significant source of nutrition, it can enhance the taste and texture of dishes like hummus.
Cold Water: Cold water is used to thin out the hummus to a desired consistency. It also helps to emulsify the ingredients and make the hummus smoother and creamier.
Salt: Salt enhances the flavour of the other ingredients in the hummus. However, it is important to use salt in moderation, as excessive salt intake has been linked to increased blood pressure and other health concerns.
Smoked Hummus (With Caramelised Onions)
For the Hummus
- 400 grams Canned Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 Large Garlic Clove minced
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tbsp Tahini
- 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
- 30 ml Cold Water
- Generous Pinch of Salt
For The Caramelised Onion
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion slice thinly
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
- Start by caramelising the onions – add the oil to a pan over a low-medium heat
- Once hot, add the sliced onions and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes
- After 15 minutes, add sugar and salt, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring every 1-2 minutes (until caramelised)
- Make the hummus by adding all of the ingredients (plus around 50% of the caramelised onions) to a food processor
- Pulse until smooth
- Taste and add any extra seasonings to your preference
- Serve with the rest of the onions, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a little more paprika
Is Hummus Soy Free?
If you’re looking for a soy-free option, you’ll be happy to know that most hummus recipes do not contain soy, and this smoked hummus recipe definitely doesn’t. The main ingredients in smoked hummus are typically chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and spices – all of which are soy free.
Can I Use a Nutribullet?
While it is possible to make this smoked hummus in a Nutribullet, it may not be the most efficient method. Hummus usually requires a strong blender or food processor to fully blend and smooth out the ingredients. A Nutribullet may not have the necessary power to achieve the desired texture, and you may end up with a gritty or chunky hummus – but give it a go!
Is Hummus Considered Unhealthy?
Hummus is generally considered a healthy food due to its nutritional profile. It is made primarily from chickpeas, which are a good source of protein and fibre. Hummus also contains healthy fats from ingredients such as tahini and olive oil.
However, like any food, it is important to consume hummus in moderation. Some store-bought varieties may contain added sugars, sodium, or preservatives, which can increase the calorie and sodium content of the dip. It is also important to pay attention to portion sizes, as consuming too much hummus can lead to excessive calorie intake.
Is Hummus the Healthiest Dip?
Hummus is often considered one of the healthiest dips available, due to its nutritional profile. As mentioned earlier, hummus is made primarily from chickpeas, which are a good source of protein and fibre. It also contains healthy fats from ingredients such as tahini and olive oil.
Compared to other dips, such as ranch or French onion dip, which can be high in calories, fat, and sodium, hummus is a healthier option. However, it’s important to note that not all hummus brands are created equal, and some store-bought varieties may contain added sugars, sodium, or preservatives, which can decrease its nutritional value.
Is Too Much Hummus Fattening?
While hummus, and my smoked hummus is a healthy food choice when consumed in moderation, consuming too much hummus can potentially lead to weight gain.
Hummus is relatively high in calories due to its ingredient composition, which includes chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil. One tablespoon of hummus can contain around 25-35 calories, and an average serving size is around 2-4 tablespoons. Therefore, consuming large amounts of hummus can contribute to excessive calorie intake and potential weight gain.
Why Does My Hummus Taste Fizzy?
There are a few reasons why your hummus might taste fizzy or have a tangy, sour taste:
Fermentation: Hummus is made from cooked chickpeas, and sometimes the cooking process doesn’t completely kill off all the bacteria present. If the chickpeas are not cooled quickly enough or are stored in a warm environment, the bacteria can continue to grow and cause fermentation, resulting in a tangy or sour taste.
Over-acidification: Adding too much lemon juice or vinegar to the hummus can also cause a sour or fizzy taste. Lemon juice and vinegar are acidic, and adding too much can make the hummus taste tangy or sour.
Spoilage: If your hummus tastes fizzy, it could be a sign that it has spoiled. Hummus that has been stored improperly or for too long can go bad and develop bacteria that can cause a fizzy or off taste.
To prevent your hummus from tasting fizzy, make sure to store it properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Avoid adding too much lemon juice or vinegar and try to use freshly cooked chickpeas. If you’re unsure if your hummus has gone bad, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it out.
Why Do I Have Smelly Gas After Eating Hummus?
It is possible to experience increased gas after consuming hummus, particularly if you are not used to eating high-fibre foods like legumes.
Hummus is made primarily from chickpeas, which are a type of legume that contains a high amount of fibre. When fibre reaches the large intestine, it is broken down by bacteria, which can cause gas as a byproduct. This gas can then lead to flatulence and bloating.
However, if you are experiencing an unusually strong odour in your flatulence after consuming hummus, it may be a sign that your body is having difficulty digesting the food. In some cases, this could be due to a food intolerance or allergy.
If you experience ongoing digestive issues after consuming hummus or other foods, it’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional to determine the cause and find ways to manage your symptoms.
How do Mediterraneans eat hummus?
In Mediterranean cuisine, hummus is a staple food that is typically served as a dip or spread. It is often accompanied by pita bread, vegetables, or crackers. Some popular ways that Mediterraneans eat hummus include:
As a mezze: In Mediterranean cuisine, it is common to serve hummus as part of a larger spread of small plates, known as a mezze. The mezze may include other dips, such as baba ghanoush, tzatziki, or muhammara, as well as a variety of small dishes and salads.
As a sandwich or wrap spread: Hummus is often used as a spread for sandwiches and wraps, providing a flavourful and protein-rich alternative to mayonnaise or other condiments.
As a topping for salads: Hummus can also be used as a flavourful topping for salads, providing a creamy and tangy contrast to fresh greens and vegetables.
As a side dish: In some Mediterranean countries, hummus is served as a side dish alongside grilled meats or fish, or as part of a larger meal that includes rice, vegetables, and other dishes.
Overall, hummus is a versatile and widely enjoyed food in Mediterranean cuisine, and there are many ways to incorporate it into your diet.
Why Lemon Juice in Hummus?
Lemon juice is a common ingredient in hummus because it provides a bright, tangy flavour that complements the earthy taste of the chickpeas. Additionally, lemon juice serves as a natural preservative, helping to extend the shelf life of the hummus by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. The acidity of the lemon juice also helps to balance the pH of the hummus, which can help to reduce the risk of food poisoning. Finally, the citric acid in lemon juice can help to break down and soften the chickpeas, making the hummus smoother and creamier in texture.
Fancy Something a Little Different?
Why not try my Wild Garlic Hummus?