Besides avocado, there aren’t many vegetables that taste as good as chickpeas in dip form. Hummus, a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, combines mashed chickpeas with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, and is usually served with pita for dipping — though we personally prefer scooping it up with sliced bell peppers for a more nutritious, low-carb alternative.
While there are some excellent hummus brands out there — we love Sabra! — it’s more fun to make your own, and you can control how much oil goes into it. Plus, there are so many unique variations you can try! See for yourself:
Want to stick with plain, traditional hummus that’s so easy to make it’s basically foolproof? Try this recipe from AllRecipes.com. The only ingredients you’ll need are garbanzo beans (obviously), a fresh jalapeno pepper, cumin, lemon juice, garlic and a blender.
Garlic & Sundried Tomato Hummus
If you’re interested in getting a little creative but not veering too far from your favorite supermarket brands, try this recipe for garlic and sundried tomato hummus from Cooking Light. The oil in the sundried tomatoes is all the oil you need. It even tells you how to make the pita wedges.
Spinach Artichoke Hummus
You know that spinach-artichoke dip your grandma (and every sit-down restaurant chain) makes? Here’s news you probably already knew: It’s packed with cheese — and probably mayo — which means you don’t want to know the fat content per tablespoon. Solution: Make it a hummus instead! This recipe from GimmeSomeOven.com forgoes the fat so you can appreciate the nutritional benefits from the chickpeas, spinach and artichokes without the guilt that comes with that ridiculously high-fat (yet, we admit, insanely yummy) dip.
Sometimes we refuse to believe that guacamole is actually a vegetable — it’s just too damn good to be healthy, which is why we find a way to add it to almost everything. Martha Stewart read our minds and combined our two favorite dips: hummus and guacamole. Keep in mind that this particular recipe isn’t low-fat — since it not only includes olive oil but also the high-fat avocado — but you also should be aware that avocado contains the “good” monounsaturated fats that are associated with lowering cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
If you’re like most, you either love cilantro or you hate it. To the cilantro-lovers: This recipe, from WhatWouldCathyEat.com, uses most of the usual ingredients — chickpeas, olive oil and garlic — but adds cilantro, replaces the lemon juice with lime juice and omits tahini, which should actually cut out a little bit of fat.
Hummus With Spinach, Garlic & Edamame
This “fabulously healthy” recipe from SkinnyKitchen.com combines the protein and fiber of edamame with the iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and beta-carotene of spinach. And did we mention there are only 63 calories in 2 tablespoons? Like the cilantro-lime hummus, this recipe also excludes the tahini, but who needs tahini when the hummus is already packed with flavor?